ENGLISH BONE CHINA JEWELRY: A DAZZLING ARRAY OF COLOR

By: John Hogan

Think for just a moment! For a long time we had costume or fashion jewelry that was made from other metals like gold plated rhodium, copper, chrome, pewter, etc.

Coalport China English "Flower" Brooch, C. 1960

COALPORT, BONE CHINA BROOCH

CARA CHINA BONE CHINA FLOWER BROOCH CIRCA 1945

CARA CHINA, BONE CHINA BROOCH

Something more fresh and novel could easily brighten up the soul during the World War II Years. These petite hand-made and hand-painted floral brooch sets with their bright & effervescent colors were sure to liven up the hearts of those young women during the War years. From research it appears that some English factories, although not a great many, produced bone china jewelry from about 1945 up to early 1960.

There were some English china factories that thought that this would probably be a good idea to produce such effeminate creations as bone china floral brooch & earring sets. Hence about 1945 companies in the production of bone china jewelry were Aynsley China Co, Cara China Co., Coalport China Co., Crown Staffordshire China Co., Bone China Crafts Co. and Paragon China Co., This is to name just several who produced such bone china jewelry. In addition, they also produced floral clusters/floral arrangements and figural/figurines. All of which are hand crafted and hand painted in a dazzling array of color.

Being bone china and not metal, many of these pieces of jewelry are found with little chips or flea bites. Why? You may ask. Well after all, many of these little jewelry pieces are very delicate/fragile bone china pieces that are relatively thin and hand worked in their production. The ruffling of the little florettes lends an imminent danger for breakage. Then on the other hand, people do accidentally drop their jewelry onto the floor. These are china pieces after all! What normally happens when one drops a china cup to the floor? Normally the china cup will break. Hey! China jewelry that has a lot of ruffling like these brooches is guaranteed not to survive without enduring the disastrous collision with a floor. Sometimes this is why we find them chipped. The degree of chipping would also depend on how one would store this jewelry. If it loosely set amongst other metal or china pieces of jewelry clanging against each other, such a fate was inevitable. On the other hand, on many occasions small pieces left factories with inevitable little flea bites that were hand colored or underglazed in the factory before shipment.

Because of such evident history, these little English bone china pieces of jewelry are becoming very collectible. After all, many of these china jewelry pieces were hand crafted in the china factories as early as 1945 which would make them some sixty years old. Do they not deserve some reverence?

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