Friday, 2 October 2015

Pinning it

A slight departure from stories of Coneysthorpe; although in some ways I suppose this is a small story about one of the occupants. If anyone asks me if I collect anything, I usually say no. I have random things I love, like Scandinavian ceramics, books on Russia and memorabilia from my family, but not a real COLLECTION of anything. At least, that's what I thought. The fact is, I love brooches. I don't wear all the ones I own, but I really enjoy them. They are a great keepsake/souvenir from a holiday (inexpensive and pack well), and they really do say something about you when you wear them.

So today, I'd like to introduce you to the broochabilia of Coneysthorpe, with some of the stories attached to them. First of all, the first brooch I ever owned.

When I was 10 years old, we moved to the town which was to be my home for the next 9 years, and where my 90 year old mum still lives. I was walking to the main shopping area one Saturday morning and saw this on the pavement. I picked it up and walked straight to the Police station with it (what my parents taught me to do with found items). The policemen took my name and phone number and said that if no one collected it in 2 weeks, I could come and reclaim it. I have had it for the last 44 years.

The next group belonged to my mum and dad. One item I bought for her in Canada when I was on holiday there one year (the house painted on a stone), the mosaic brooch she had since she was a teenager. The Morris 1000 dad bought one time because he was so amused at how much it looked like our Moggy - by the name of Jelly Bean Rolls.

I have rather a lot of cat brooches - not all of them photographed. Some were given to me as gifts.

I have bought quite a lot of antique (pocket money prices) brooches at fairs and street markets. The resin rose in this photo I bought in Dublin 25 years ago. The matching bone "costume" brooches were a gift from my mother in law. The lucite brooch was another market purchase, bought because it reminded me of my granma.

I have visited the former Soviet Union three times, and these were holiday momentoes.

A leather brooch momento from my first trip to Canada in 1977

Gifts from Leeds friends Christine and Helen

Purchased in S. Africa, a painted ostrich egg brooch and leather depiction of Africa, made by the Triple Trust in Cape Town.

Blasts from the past, brooches from the 1970s - faux tiger's eye, enamelled copper and a silver Danish brooch set with a ball of moss agate (this is a big favourite with me)

Souvenirs of holidays, pressed clay (Israel with my husband), Liz Claiborne parrots (New York), pavement artists (Paris).

Retro brooches purchased over the years in NZ and overseas. The large brown glass brooch (bottom left of daisy) is an exact replica of a brooch my mother always wore in the 1960s. I don't know what happened to the original, but when I saw this for sale on the auction site Trademe, I bid hard for it.

And finally, birds and geckos. The sparkly gecko was a Christmas gift from Aunty Betty, the green gecko a present from a friend in Leeds. Little did I know when I received them that I would live in apartment in the Middle East with geckos running around the walls!

There are a few more to photograph, but they can wait for another day.


  1. Those are absolutely gorgeous! Wow :)
    I've tried hard over the recent years to declutter my house, but I don't think I'd be able to part with any of those. You should keep them on display!

    1. Thanks Toby. I don't display things because I loathe dusting! I'm afraid I won't ever be minimalist - too many memories attached to things in our house. Hugs.