Category: Brooches
July 2, 2008

Lori's Brooch

The most recent addition to my collection of vintage brooches is this Vendome pin, circa 1950 or 1970 (dating this piece has been difficult because the company was in business from 1944 to 1979 and they did repeat their designs). After roaming a thrift store in Virginia Beach, I was just about to leave when I made one more round around the jewelry cases. There was one I had missed and the colors in this pin were so vivid that it immediately stood apart from all the other ornaments. The generous size of the center crystal (when they are very large, they are referred to as a "chaton") is costly to manufacture and each must be custom made; every crystal is hand set at a slightly different angle so as to catch the light when the wearer moves.

When I did a little bit of research after I acquired it, I discovered that the Vendome was a division of
Coro, a very well known manufacturer of costume jewelry in the United States, Vendome was Coro's high-end line and used the finest Austrian and Czechoslovakian crystals. Eventually this range of jewelry became renowned for its inventive designs created by Helen Marion, who was the company's lead designer.


— Lori Ettlinger Gross