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Silver and Enamel REME Sweetheart Brooch (sold)

REME Sweetheart brooch or pin in Sterling Silver with red and blue enamel.  This brooch is in perfect condition and is simply marked 'Sterling' on the reverse.  This brooch is associated with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.  It is likely that it dates to around the Second World War up to the late 1950s.  This REME Sweetheart Brooch is small and measures just 3cms by 2cms.  This brooch fastens with a 'c' type clasp and pin.

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.    

Silver and Enamel REME Sweetheart Brooch  (sold)

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