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During the Victorian, Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods, women used dress clips to hold clothing in place. There were many styles used, but one common one was a dress clip. If you look at vintage jewelry online, you may note that many online retailers use the word dress clip and fur clip interchangeably, but these were actually two completely different styles of clips. The difference is in the intended use and the type of clip on the back.

A dress clip is a piece of jewelry which looks much very like a pin from the front side, but instead of having a pin clasp at the back, it has a hinged clip which folds over to attach to the clothing. In dress clips, there is one wide clip, normally with a number of small pointed grips on the underneath side. (By comparison, fur clips have two long thin pointed prongs on the back which were intended to pierce a fur stole.) Both dress clips and fur clips were often worn in pairs and if you can find matching sets, the value will be greater for them.

The clips on dress clips varied in design. All of them consisted of a piece of metal, but the actual look and shape of the clip varied from one manufacturer to another. Many were made of a filigree metal design. Some had rounded tips and others had a pointed end. All had some sort of pointed "gripper" on the underneath side to hold to material. The use of dress clips was especially popular during the Art Deco period. Some made during that period were constructed of pot metal and had clear diamante rhinestone accenting.

Duette Dress clips were a very special style of clip and have extra value today. They were two clips mounted on a removable pinback frame and designed to be worn together as a single brooch. They were also called Clip pins or Clip mates. A few companies who made duettes were Coro, Trfari, Eisenberg, Miriam Haskell, Mazer, Boucher and Hattie Carngeie, among several others.

Carol Speake

Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry


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