I picked up this pin on eBay for around $6.00. It is made of base metal and rhinestone, and is probably from the 1940s. I think that it might be a comet pin because it reminds me of the first comet in this illustration from Johannes Hevelius’ Cometographia (Danzig, 1668). What do you think?
The comet necklace above is the most recent rendition of my design. It is made of recycled sterling silver and natural quartz crystal (heated to the point of crackling). I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s more vibrant than the snow quartz. Click on the photo for a larger view, or visit my Etsy shop for more pictures: http://www.etsy.com/listing/126929706/comet-of-life-necklace-sterling-silver?
The card that my comet is sitting on is a replica of a 1910 Halley’s Comet commemorative postcard. I got it from Stuart Schneider, co-author of the book Halley’s Comet – Memories of 1910. He has a really great website about comet memorabilia. If you like my comets (creations and/or collection), then prepare to fall in love: http://wordcraft.net/comets1.html
Today I am wearing this antique comet pin on my jacket lapel. The dealer who sold this to me said that is made from 14k gold, black enamel, and a French “paste” stone. Like most antique comet pins, there is no maker’s mark. My guess is that, since it is from the Victorian era and since there is black involved, this pin might also be a piece of mourning jewelry. Perhaps a loved-one passed during the year that Halley’s Comet made its appearance?
I love the detail in this piece. The comet’s tail is similar to the shape of an arrow, and the prongs around the stone simulate a star burst. I am assuming that this is an earlier piece of Victorian jewelry because I’ve been told that later Victorian pins were not as ornate. It might even be from the Georgian era, which would be commemorating the 1835 appearance of Halley’s Comet. I would love for an expert to find this blog and comment here. 🙂
Today marks the arrival of comet Pan-STARRS in the Northern Hemisphere. I live in CA, but sadly we have too many clouds to see anything today. Fortunately, this comet is supposed to stick around for a few days so my fingers are crossed for some good viewing soon. I am wearing the comet necklace that I made today (see the main photo of this blog) as well as one of my antique comet pins:
The pin above is an example of a classic Edwardian/Victorian Halley’s Comet pin, circa 1910. It is made of rose gold and has a stone that appears to be topaz (though it might be glass “paste”). Like most antique Halley’s Comet pins, it is unsigned.
In the coming days, I will post more pictures of pins from my collection along with what I know about them. if you have any info to add, then please feel free to share it here.
Humans have been making comet jewelry for hundreds of years, and Halley’s Comet has been a particularly rich source of inspiration for jewelers from the Georgian to the Victorian eras. When I first began collecting antique comet jewelry, I lamented the fact that I will probably be too old to work with wire the next time Halley’s Comet comes around. But then, I learned about the ISON comet that is supposed to be spectacular at the the end of this year (and, hello, Pan-STARRS comet!)! To me, this was a sign that I should not let Halley’s schedule get in the way of creating my own version of the comet.
Here is my version of a comet. I crafted this necklace from recycled sterling silver wire, sterling silver chain, and natural snow quartz. Comets consist of rock and ice, hence my choice of gemstone. I am excited about this design. and have plans to expand it further. In the meantime, I will share some of my collection of vintage comet jewelry here. Stay tuned!