This brooch is made of silver in the form of an orchid. Bond-Boyd was established in 1940 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a family firm still in operation today and still manufactures in its hometown. Nowadays the company specialises in producing corporate jewellery; cufflinks, tie pins with company logos or symbols. They also make Maple Leaf jewellery; necklaces, pendants and brooches. I have a Maple Leaf brooch which I used as part of the TubeFlash project to represent Canada Water underground station. The story was ‘Call of the Wild’ by Louise Ells, who is a Canadian. But back in the 1950s they produced traditional costume jewellery. Most of the vintage jewellery is silver based and many pieces have flower motifs.
This brooch has travelled far, starting in Canada, then to America where I bought it from a dealer and now it has arrived in England. The Bond family was originally from England, so you could say the brooch has come home. When I first approached Bond-Boyd about the brooch I sent them a photo, they politely pointed out I had it upside down!
Ruby is the birthstone for July which symbolises contentment. And Larkspur and Water Lily are the birth flowers. I grow both Larkspur and Water Lily in my garden. For my birthday last year, friends gave me a delicate filigree silver gilt brooch of a Water Lily which came with a lovey hand painted card.
Birthday card by Michael Green
Orchids or Orchidaceae to give them their correct name are a diverse flower and there are about 28,000 different species. They come in many shapes, sizes and colours. The world’s smallest orchid is only 2 mm wide. In China, orchids are regarded as emblems of integrity, elegance and friendship. They have been cultivated for thousands of years and are used as a natural remedy for coughs, diseases of the kidneys, lungs, stomach and eyes. Nowadays they are widely available, you find them is most supermarkets and garden centres. I have a little one on my desk at the moment alongside my calendar from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.