Monday, June 14, 2010

Teatime Jewelry Week Day 1 - Vintage Pins

For a while now I've been wanting to write a week-long series of blog posts on a single topic, so this week I decided to focus on teatime jewelry. My hope is that I can share some of the info I've learned -- and hopefully learn from some of you! If you want to build a collection of tea-themed costume jewelry, the best place to start is with pins or brooches. These are still fairly inexpensive and easy to find, and they make wonderful little pieces of artwork! These are some of the ones I've collected over the years, and yes, I do wear them. (Double click on the photo if you want to see more detail.)

One of the most amazing things I learned about costume jewelry is that the makers never intended it to last. Pieces were expected to be worn for a single fashion season to match a specific outfit and then tossed, thus creating a need for newer, more exciting designs. I just can't imagine tossing any of this delightful jewelry! This sparkly pin is one I found on Ruby Lane (, but the seller accidentally switched my order with another, so one day I opened the mail and found a huge orange Bakelite bead, while a woman in another state opened my sparkly teapot pin. I've often wondered which of us was more surprised, but happily the seller sent us each a pre-paid envelope so we could swap pieces, and all's well that ends well!

One of my favorite pins, by Danecraft, is this silver teacup pin with a dangling spoon attached. Teapot pins are much more common than teacup pins, so I'm always delighted to find a teacup one.

To give you an example of what bargains are out there, I found this large gold pin from an eBay seller in England. This was less than $5, including shipping.

For those of you with an interest in costume jewelry, I thought I'd share some of the resources I've found beneficial. One of my favorites is "Warman's Costume Jewelry Figurals" by Kathy Flood. The book is very entertainingly written and the photos are fantastic. I must warn you, though, that once you read her chapter on Christmas tree pins you may be tempted to start a new collection! Do any of you wear or collect costume jewelry, tea-themed or otherwise? I'd love to hear what your interests are, and to encourage you to share them, how about a jewelry giveaway? I'll reveal the prize on Friday and run the giveaway until June 21 at 7 a.m., but meanwhile know that every comment made during this Teatime Jewelry Week will give you a chance to win!


  1. Costume jewelry is art! Amazing collection!

  2. That is a nice collection of vintage pins. You have quite a variety of styles, materials and colors. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your teatime jewelry.

  3. What a fun blog series! I own two of the pins in your collection, because I collect tea-themed jewelry too. None of mine has come from E-bay bids or on-line purchases. Everything has been purchased at tea rooms, stores, and at the Tea Expo. None of mine qualifies as vintage.

  4. P.S. Just to clarify... I didn't mean to imply that your brooch's aren't vintage, Angela -- just stating that mine are repros and current makes. And upon looking in my jewelry box, I did place an online order for a red, white & blue teapot pin after you wrote about it, and provided a link where it could be purchased. Thanks, Angela!

  5. Love your post. I'm looking forward to reading more throughout the week.

    I have a small collection of tea time jewerly and enjoy wearing it, but somehow I frequently seem to forget to wear it. A lot of it is silver and tarnishes easily. I think that's a part of why I don't wear it as often - polishing is another step as I rush out the door.

    I enjoy looking it as well, so covered some bunting with fabric and put it in an 8 x 10 picture frame. I keep it in my bedroom. I'll have to see if I can do some polishing and muster up a photo.

    I recently purchased (at HomeGoods) a tiny cabinet, basically a frame with a glass door that can be hung. I don't know where I'd hang it and I'm not sure if it's the right thing, but with HomeGoods, it's never there when you go back so I thought I'd best scoop it up and possibly return it later.

    I'm hosting a new meme called, "Summer Sundays". It's all about what summer means to YOU: like a tea party. I'd love to have you come and join us.

    - The Tablescaper

  6. No problem, Phyllis! I'd love to know which of the two we have alike. Just because all mine were sold to me as "vintage" doesn't by any means assure me they are! If you've bought something even in the last 10 or 20 years, that could help me date these pieces! I have seen things on eBay selling as "vintage" that I personally know are not -- and I really don't care as long as I like the piece. But it does remind me of the time I was at a flea market and saw a reproduction piece of Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz marked "Rare Antique - Price Firm," and the bottom said it was microwave safe!

  7. The two I have are: Teacup w/dangling spoon, first one in second row. It has a pinch clip like a tie tack. I bought it at Miss Molly's tea room in Medina, Ohio in 2003 or 04.
    The other is the silver and gold tea pot with tiny rhinestones -- second from right in the bottom row. I don't remember what tea room it came from, but I didn't become smitten with all things tea until 1997 so it was sometime thereafter.

  8. I love your collection of costume jewelry teapot pins. You have a nice selection here. I look forward to your series of posts this week.

  9. I have my Grandma's jewelry and much of it is 1950's costume jewelry pins. I would actually like to learn more about them, to know if they are valuable or not. She did collect Christmas tree pins and I have fond memories of helping her choose which one to wear as a child. I get them out each year and wear them over the holidays.

  10. What a great collection of pins you have. Thank you for sharing your treasures.

    I have several pieces of tea themed jewelry and enjoy wearing it on a regular basis. I also love any jewelry with hearts or roses and have some of the broken china jewelry.

    My niece just gave me a cute teacup ring that is part of the Alice in Wonderland Collection. I will look forward to seeing the other tea jewelry in your collection, Angela.

  11. Hi Angela,
    Thanks for popping in! Yes, those cakes were AMAZING! So light and fluffy, not weighed down with gobs of gross buttercream like so many are today. Was I right, are they called "tea cakes" because of their size? I asked the staff, they did't have tea in them...
    I'm so excited for your getting to meet a new tea friend/bloggy buddy tomorrow! I hope we get to hear all about it!

  12. Love the sparkly pin. Beautiful colors....

  13. You always have such informative and interesting items related to tea. I'm looking forward to learning more about what is considered 'vintage' tea-themed jewelry.
    Janet P.


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