Whimsical Jewelry Brooches: Racehorses!

Jewelry brooches with racehorses and jockeys. This subject was a popular subject for jewelry designers, especially in the U.K., with many vintage pieces still on the market. A joy for both collectors and people who love to give them a new life!

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From left to right: 1910 brooch in platinum and diamond and enamel, maker unknown. A & W  Jewellers Antique diamond and gold brooch with enamel. Below: 1960 Racehorse Brooch in platinum and diamonds, with rubies in the details. A & W Jewellers, silver and gold brooch with diamonds


Every year we, the inner crowd, shout that this is the year of the brooch's return. Luckily, we are not held accountable for such statements we love to spread throughout the internet and in the real world. 

The truth is that it is the brooch that often is subject to the most beautiful jewelry designs. And the subjects are often bolder or more statements than any other piece of jewelry. It will take some new, fresh and cool stars, and well-known women and men to show up wearing brooches if we want to grab your attention again. For now, the brooch is the object least sold in any given jewelry store. 

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One newer and one older. But both by Cartier. The one on the right is from the 1930s, in platinum and diamonds. The other one is created in this century, in gold, diamonds and a sapphire.


I have chosen the brooches with the subject horses and jockeys for this blog. Why? Because I do like how a sport and jewelry came together. It is both elegant and for many; this is a joyful sport to watch. Or an important sport in which to invest. Both in owning a horse or a stable or perhaps you might be a bit of a gambler ;-)

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Van Cleef & Arpels horse & jockey 1940. A & W Jewellers in gold and enamel is the company that created the other two brooches

Our love for horses

What I also like to observe is how this is a part of our story with horses. We always loved their speed, their strength, their endurance. Horses have played a major role in our story. Without them, we wouldn't have created the world that we know today. They were there in times of war, they were there to help plow the land, and they even provided as food themselves.

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A jewelry brooch of a jockey without a saddle, from 1890 containing 2.25ct of diamonds and made in 9ct gold

Let's be kinder

From a very personal perspective: I love the observe these brooches. However, I place them into the context of humanity's history, which intertwines with that of the magnificent noble horses. We failed them many times, and we have treasured them too many times. As we progress as human beings, I feel that the whip and the bridle bit should be banned. Both give the rider the idea of control, but instead of asking and receiving, we force and create pain. 

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This brooch is 9cm and created back in 1900-1909. 18kt gold and diamonds. And it seems that the face of the jockey is a carved gemstone

Also, the world of racehorses fills people with excitement and thrill and lots of money. But once again, there is another side less kind, less beautiful. 

So I see these brooches as reminders. I see them as a part of how we see things for a while before we moved on. They are delightful, whimsical, and for those who love the sport nonetheless, a beautiful token of showing it in a precious way. 


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