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One subject that I have not seen mentioned on GMIC - I know, I've left myself wide open - is that of SWEETHEART BROOCHES. They basically grew from the Boer War, when servicemen started to give their wives and girl friends small badges from their equipment - usually collars - to have pins put-on and to wear , to show which unit said husband ,or, boyfriend served with. Jewellers quickly got into the act and started to make them professionally. The practise quickly grew and continues to this day. Being British - snobbery quickly set-in and for higher ranks they often use gold - set with diamonds and other stones.

Collecting them has always been in fashion - but, only when books were written - Joanna Lumley, for one - did it become 'big' business. Now every fair and antiques room has them , and at quite high prices. Unfortunately, many are copies.

I wasn't sure where to post this picture - Naval or, Air Force - no-one seems to read Air Force ( only 20 looked at one of the oldest relics of pre-1914 - the first air show in 1909 !) - the bottom Sweetheart brooch is from WW2 and for The Fleet Air Arm. I paid ?70 for it two years ago and was happy to do so - however, remember what I said about forgeries. The top one is Indian made and modern - despite it's glitter , it is only worth curiosity value.

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Leigh - that is always open to interpretation. Cheaper copies will always have a market - however, in my book it is a forgery and would not be sold in the shop. I will give it as a raffle prize to the Militaria Society. You are a major collector and know how easily these things suddenly 'earn' a pedigree with age. They even make copies of 200 year old truncheons !!!

Have a great holiday. Merv.

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Yes, they are a current badge - but, not this one which is a copy. Look at the naval FOULED anchor !

Without dragging the thread too far off topic, submariner dolphins don't have a fouled anchor, for what I would have thought was obvious reasons. The Australian version has no anchor at all. The badge that the RN Submarine Service wears was derived from the RAN designed badge, introduced in the mid 60's here, officially recognised by the RN in 1972. All other Commonwealth navies then adopted it as a standard, with slight differences, the Canadian type being the most striking.

Therefore, anyone trying to flog off a set of dolphins, claiming that they are from any time prior to the mid sixties at the earliest, are pulling your leg. Miniatures are issued for Mess Undress, Senior Sailors and Officers only. There is of course nothing stopping a Junior Sailor going to 'slops' and buying his other half (or halves :unsure: ) a mini set as a sweetheart brooch.

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Very interesting - I had never known submarine service had a different anchor - do you think the top 'sweetheart' is genuine ? We don't see many submarines off Umhlanga - the shark nets get in the way !! South Africa has just bought three new German made ones - I think the first one , or, two have been delivered.

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Very interesting - I had never known submarine service had a different anchor - do you think the top 'sweetheart' is genuine ?

I don't know what size it is, it looks like a genuine RN type of dolphins. They have the 'un-fouled' anchor.

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Thanks. The militaria society won't get a freebie... Anyway, I'm a 'plod' - how many of us - really - knew that the sub. service don't have a fouled anchor??

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Mervyn - Wonderful collection of sweetheart badges! I got the wife into them a couple of years back, when i treat myself to something, as long as i get her one were ok! ha

I will post some of mine on here if you dont mind?

Dan

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Dan, that would be great - I've always thought them very interesting - and collectable. I recently sold the gold ones for scrap - a pity - but the price of gold has outstripped the value of the badge. I hope you are well - haven't seen you post for a while ? Mervyn

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I havent posted since last November! Not since I sent the belt over to SA!

We were planning our wedding and very shortly followed that with our own little bundle of joy, so the temptation of the site was too much for my zero collecting budget!

I have just finished work to be a stay at home dad with my new son Connor, as the missus has gone back to work. Once i have got him asleep and he has stopped sicking and pooing everywhere i have a little time to come back on line and have a chat!

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Dan - firstly, my congratulations on your marriage and the birth of your son. I can understand your collection taking third place !

Now, I have a question on this first 'sweetheart' brooch you show. Is it one ? Firstly, it is for a Belgian town - Ypres. I would have said that it was perhaps a town badge - later converted and given as a keepsake - however, it doesn't follow the usual pattern of showing a miltary background badge. Did you mount it on the green baize and wood background ? What do you think - and in no way do my comments detract from what is an attractive piece. Mervyn

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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very nice mervyn,

here in my country, a military officer get a pair of ring called "cincin paja" after their graduation on military academy, one for him, and the another for his wife..

but i never see sweetheart brooch here..:unsure:

windu

Edited by kapten_windu

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Is it one ? Firstly, it is for a Belgian town - Ypres. I would have said that it was perhaps a town badge - later converted and given as a keepsake - however, it doesn't follow the usual pattern of showing a miltary background badge. Did you mount it on the green baize and wood background ? What do you think - and in no way do my comments detract from what is an attractive piece. Mervyn

Hi Mervyn

Thanks for the congrats!

The badge is a funny one. A "Sweetheart" brooch is a momento given to a loved one to keep you in their mind when you are off to the fray. And yes, this would usually be a regimental token. However, a badge such as this, sent back from the front line for a wife or girlfriend would certainly qualify. Wouldnt you say?

I suppose it depend on the badges provenance. 2 identical badges bought from the same shop, in the same town. 1 worn as a tourist piece by the chap that purchased it - not a Sweetheart badge. One sent home and worn by a loved one....

When i bought this the lady at the carboot had said her Uncle/Great Uncle brought it back from Belgium for her aunt. This would make it a Sweethear brooch to my mind.

Definately one for further thought!

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It's time to awake old threat about the sweetheart brooches. Here is my Royal Dublin Fusiliers ones:

1. Nice and small silver made brooch with the enamel scroll. Unfortunately pin is broken off. Also there is no maker marks. Shows a lot of wear.

20467417bfcf1c_l.jpg

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2. Enamel brooch RDF brooch. Very unusal design I think. Crown looks like is Victorian period one and in this case can it be from Boer war period? Also I have seen exact same shape Connaught Ranger brooch.

204674233babfc_l.jpg

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3. "Mother of Pearl" brooch. I think it is some kind a common manufactury produced, because I have seen many similar brooches with the different regiments. WW1 period.

204674378f4558_l.jpg

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