This set of brooches is by the Norwegian designer Rasmussen (sometimes you will see it written as Knut A Rasmussen or Knut Andreas Rasmussen). The KA Rasmussen company was started in 1872 as a goldsmith’s workshop. I cannot find out much about Rasmussen jewellery but the company is still going today and are the largest supplier of precious metals within the Nordic countries.
In my collection I have brooches from all over northern Europe. The main countries being Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. I recently reorganised this drawer in my collection and made an unexpected discovery. The Norwegian jewellers/designers are the main ones to use enamelling. Norwegian enamelling techniques were developed by Gustav Gaudernack (1865-1914) who worked for the famous Norwegian jeweller David Andersen. In my collection of 17 Norwegian brooches all but one has enamel decoration. The one exception is a brooch by Tone Vigeland (1938 – ), who specialises in silver and oxidized silver jewellery, her work is much sought after. In my Swedish and Finish collection (11) there is no enamel work at all. And in the Danish section (18) there is one designer Karin Pedersen who did a lot of work for Jemax company.
Braille [⠃⠗⠁⠊⠇⠇⠑ ] was created in 1824 by Louis Braille a Frenchman who created it after he lost his sight in an accident. At the age of fifteen he developed a code for the alphabet. Braille was based on night writing, developed for Napoleon’s army by Charles Barbier. Napoleon wanted a means for his soldiers to communicate silently at night. With the advent of modern technology like screen readers the use of Braille is declining, in the UK it is estimated out of the two million or so blind or low vision of the population only 15,000 – 20,000 use Braille. Despite this decline when the new £10 (the polymer note) was introduced in the UK in 2017 there are two clusters of raised dots in the top left hand corner, helping people identify the value of the note.