This small Sterling Silver brooch was made in Germany in the 1930s or maybe even earlier.  The reason I like it so much is the delicate detail of the enamelling and the added marcasites which give this brooch its charm.  The coach part of the brooch is just 2.5 cm long and within this tiny space the craftsman has added minute luggage on the top of the coach and  enamelled the inside of the canopy of the driver’s hood a pale lavender.  The horses are 2 cm long, each is a different colour and have red stones for eyes.  When the brooch arrived from America it was quite dirty and it was only after careful cleaning did all the intricate details reveal themselves.

Early coaches were crude affairs with no suspension, little more than covered wagons.  The first stagecoach route was between Edinburgh and Leith in 1610. Coach travel was slow, in 1673, it took eight days to travel from London to Exeter.  The heyday of stagecoach travel was during the Regency period 1800 to 1830, but with the introduction of the railways coach petered out.

mailcoach

Print of painting by James Pollard showing a mail coach decorated in black and scarlet Royal Mail livery

There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.” from  Washington Irving’s ‘Tales of a Traveller’ published in 1824, often considered to be the Father of the American Short Story.