A Collection of Stick Pins
by Terry Betteridge on June 20th, 2014
These tiny jewels, each of gold or platinum, were quite exotic statements worn by pretty conservative fellows otherwise. There are laconic women in the Art Nouveau styles, toothsome critters of all sorts, and then a “scaredy-cat” and frightening baby sporting a diamond bonnet and face of carved pink moonstone; all of them incredibly well crafted as miniature standout pieces for a gentleman’s tie. I remember most of these framed by my fathers vest or granddad’s fuzzy waistcoats, fondly, except for when I’d be chased to bed with one in a good hearted threat from pop who would brandish one in musketeer fashion.
The old man was proudest of his bird crystals: Reverse carved to complete full relief of the animal and then painted with translucent oils to show every feather of that,” just shot” mallard duck or the standing snipe. He gave Mom a life sized bumble bee carving that was so well done, every person who saw it assumed a live bee had been somehow trapped in crystal: Only the pre-World War One carvers managed to include every hair carved, though great painters remained through till the 40’s.