Vintage 1940s clear lucite and carved wood brooch features an artfully detailed cockatoo, sitting perched with tucked wing. Its ruffled crest is echoed visually by its long, fanned tail-feathers, as well as by the graceful sweep of its deeply grooved wing. A simple dot of red paint represents the bird’s eye.
Figurative brooches made of imaginative alternatives to metal, and frequently referred to as “lapel gadgets,” were popular throughout the WWII years. Whimsical in material as well as subject, most were, as a March 1940 fashion reporter notes, “the size of a small fist”. And, as a May 1942 article makes clear, these morale-boosting suit or dress accents were a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of U.S. costume jewelry firms: “Designers of costume jewelry must be equipped with a delightful sense of humor. That's not a qualification, it's a guess, judging by some of the amusing ornaments they concoct and label novelty jewelry; to say nothing of the materials they come up with now that metal has been pressed into its country's service. "
This carved wood and transparent lucite example has a c-clasp pinback riveted to the lucite, which the wooden “wing” is securely glued on top of.
Measures a touch under 4” high and 1” across at the center. Very good condition, with surface scratches to the back of the head (photo #6), which are visible with magnification, invisible while worn.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
Vintage 40s Lucite & Wood Cockatoo Brooch