SOLD -- Very Unusual Early 1940s Prison Folk Art Sweetheart Brooch
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Oh, if only this piece could talk! What a story it would tell!
For centuries, prison art has been a popular way for inmates to pass the time while serving their sentence. Using bits and pieces of wood, old celluloid toothbrushes, combs, guitar picks, umbrella handles, pocket knife handles, or anything else they could get their hands on, prisoners would create one-of-a-kind items, such as picture frames and jewelry. The latter being highly sought after by collectors today.
This sweet little brooch is a wonderful example of prison art at its finest, and was probably given to a very special lady upon the maker's release. While it is very clearly handmade, it looks to be done so by a true artisan.
It seems to be fashioned with some sort of resin, almost like tree sap, and is very light weight. It also has beautiful, vibrant celluloid inlays at the top of the heart. The link joining the two pieces also is celluloid.
The brooch fastens with a safety pin back, which is a little rusty, but still fully functional.
This piece is truly a conversation starter! You will never see another one like it!
Height: 2 1/2"
Width: 1 5/8"
Condition: Very Good
The pin back is rusty, but functional. The green material in the V-shape of the heart is chipped, but given the nature of the piece, that could be the way it was made, we don't know. The entire piece is structurally sound and wearable. Priced accordingly.