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Fleet Air Arm Sweetheart Brooch -Sterling Silver and Enamel (Sold)

Here is a Fleet Air Arm sweetheart pin which is made of sterling silver with red and blue enamel details.  This vintage brooch is a bar pin type marked 'silver' on the reverse and it fastens with a full safety guard catch.  This Fleet Air Arm brooch measures two inches in length and is almost three quarters of an inch in width at its widest pint.  It is in good order but there is some surface scratching and a little enamel loss on the high points.  There is also a tiny indentation on the front of the pin under the word 'AIR'.  This fault must have been a makers fault as the enamel is true there and it doesn't look like later damage.  These flaws are pointed out to ensure you will be delighted with your purchase.  The sweetheart brooch is still in wearable condition and is a great collectable too.  It would be perfect for 1940s fans and re- enactment wear.  I would imagine that it dates to the World War Two era.

Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm was formed in 1924. It was an organizational unit of the Royal Air Force which was then operating the aircraft embarked on RN ships. The Royal Naval Aviation Service having been merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps in 1918 did not come under the direct control of the Admiralty until mid-1939. During the Second World War, the Fleet Air Arm operated both aircraft on ships and land-based aircraft that defended the Royal Navy's shore establishments and facilities. Laurence Olivier , the famous actor, was in the Fleet AIr Arm in World War 2.


Sweetheart brooches first made an appearance in the UK at the end of the Victorian era when they worn during the Boer War (1899 - 1902). These small brooches and pins were worn initially by the wife or girlfriend of a military man when he was serving away from home overseas. This is fairly typical of the Victorian way of using items, often jewellery, to convey messages. Early pins relate to regiments in the army or the navy and are found for many regiments and corps. Naturally this sympathetic and patriotic gesture was taken up by the mothers, sisters, and other female family members and the brooches and pins were worn to show support of sons, brothers etc. Often the serving men would make brooches for the women dearest to them. With the massive conflicts of World War 1 ( 1914 - 1918) followed only a couple of decades later by World War 2 ( 1939 - 1945 ) there became a huge market for this kind of sentimental jewellery. As women themselves joined the forces it was not unusual for them to wear a little pin on their frock with their own insignia, for example the WAAFS or the ATS, when they were not in uniform. Commercial jewellers soon produced ‘sweetheart’ jewellery. Initially the sweetheart brooches and pins had been made from the collar dogs, buttons and cap badges from the regimental uniform. The designs were still taken from the official regimental badge but the sweetheart brooches were made in all kinds of metals to suit the class and purse of the recipient. For the commanding officers' ladies there were exquisite brooches in platinum set with diamonds and precious jewels, gold was also used, although these high end pieces of jewellery are rarer. Base metals and early plastics crop up often and naive items hand made from shell and bullet cases, known as trench art and carved Lucite brooches made from the gun turrets and windscreens of World War 2 aircraft are also found. Silver with enamel is a popular choice and many lovely brooches have been made in these materials. This is not a collectable limited to the British; there is a strong collector market for American patriotic jewelry and sweetheart jewellery too. Today brooches, badges and pins with military connections are made, sold and discovered the world over.
Fleet Air Arm Sweetheart Brooch -Sterling Silver and Enamel (Sold)

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