This magnificent fur clip by Eisenberg is made of silver gilt, which means it is made of sterling silver with a wash of gold over the top.  The brooch dates from the 1940s and is a substantial piece, it weighs over 60 grams (2oz plus) and being a fur clip has the two sharp prongs designed to go through a fur coat pelt.  Fur coats and fur trimmed coats were popular and the exclusive province of the upper classes.  I have a wonderful book called ‘Mrs Tinne’s Wardrobe- A Liverpool Lady’s Clothes 1900-1940’; Emily Margaret Tinne was a teacher and married a doctor.   The book is a fascinating insight to a woman’s wardrobe, there is a whole section on furs, showing their popularity during the first half of the twentieth century.  The jewellery industry responded designing fur clips, Cartier is thought to have been the first to introduce them in 1928, others soon followed and the fledgling  costume jewellery industry also followed suit.  Fur clips can be difficult to wear, especially the more substantial ones like this Eisenberg beauty.  Our modern fabrics are lighter weight, a way round this is to place an ‘old fashioned’ cotton or linen handkerchief behind the fabric thus providing additional support for the brooch or clip to attach.  It will not work with a throw away paper tissue, they just disintegrate.

To find out more about Mrs Tinne and her wardrobe here is a link to an exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool in 2006 showcasing Mrs Tinne’s  wardrobe.

Mrs Tinne’s Wardrobe

Mrs Tinne's Wardrobe