This spikey brooch is by Hobé is sometimes known as a ‘Sputnik’ brooch. During the 1950s and 60s the ‘space race’ inspired many jewellery designers.
William Hobé was the son of the French goldsmith Jacques Hobé who founded Hobé Cie in 1887. William emigrated to America in the early 20th century establishing a theatrical costumes company in New York in the 1920s. One of his earliest commissions was to produce both costumes and real-looking jewellery for the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway and according to some historians, Florenz Ziegfeld described the jewellery that accompanied Hobé’s costumes as costume jewellery, the term was born. By the 1940s and 1950s many Hollywood stars were wearing Hobé costume jewellery – Bette Davis and Ava Gardner were particular fans. William Hobé capitalised on this using the stars in adverts for his jewellery.
Ava Gardner on the front cover of a Christmas edition of Photoplay magazine in the 1940s advertising Hobé jewellery
My ‘Sputnik’ brooch has matching spikey earrings which I don’t wear that often, they are rather large and awkward to keep on. And recently I have bought a pair of charming Hobé ‘Ducks’ which at some point in the future might become a ‘Brooch of the Month’, you never know.