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The Brooch - The History of Brooches

Gorgeous shawl and scarf brooches! Ever since the earliest civilizations began walking this earth, fashion accessories had already existed. Of course they may have been very weird and unheard of but fact is that people were already using them. Probably one of the earlier types of fashion accessory though is the brooch.

Back when man only used to wear big pieces of cloth to cover their body, brooches were the accessory of choice when it came to fastening the two ends together. It is said that the earliest kind of brooch was probably the thorn. As simple as it may seem, it did its job and because of how it was used, can also be considered the first brooch ever.

Over time, the appearance of brooch evolved and was slowly refined by craftsmen. The next advancement in this accessory, after the thorns, was the safety pin mechanism. There was the ornament which was attached to the cloth by a pin and a spring made everything work smoothly.

The next huge step on design came during the time of the Byzantines. They had a passion for color and this was carried over to their designs. For the first time, brooches came in bright colors with intricate designs. Soon after, it became a hot item during trades and was sought after by many.

Years later, the brooch saw even more improvements as its size grew which meant there was more surface area for designers to work with. Very intricate designs were finally possible and artists and craftsmen used it to the fullest extent. For some people, symbols, family crests and other meaningful patterns were made into brooches which also boosted its reputation amongst the people and most especially the elite.

Small words, quips and mottoes were at times engraved on to the face of the piece. Because of this new improvement, people started personalizing their accessories which gave people even more incentive to own such accessory.

In between the tenth and fifteenth century, crystals and gem stones were finally encrusted on to brooches to contrast the design from the heavy and dark looks of the metal bases. Not only it became an accessory to be worn but because of this change in color and appearance, it also became a decorative piece for others.

Eventually, there were pieces produced that were completely bejeweled and this was in stark contrast of the dark, shabby looking pieces that were produced in the earlier times. After this marked improvement, brooch became extremely popular for the next couple of centuries.

Shortly after the fifteenth century, craftsmen and designers soon started using more precious and higher quality metals in their production. The likes of gold and silver were used as the foundation of the piece which gave it a classier and elegant look. Along with this sudden increase in quality, brooch also soon came to be known as an accessory that showed stature and success especially when it was made out of valuable metals.

The last and most recent step in the evolution of this accessory was the use of precious stones in its design. Back in the day, stones were already used but no where near the value of diamonds and sapphires. Eventually though, designers began using them and further lifted its status as an accessory for the higher classes and the more privileged people.

Nowadays, these are a lot less used compared to its earlier years although its stature has not diminished. It can still bring a lot of class and elegance to an outfit if it is designed properly and used fashionably. Regardless of its apparent decline in popularity over recent years, brooches still have its place in being an influential accessory over the earlier civilization up to the modern era of man.