Hot! Southwest Find: Western Owl Brooch

Over the course of the next couple days, I'll be sharing some of my vintage finds from my Southwest road trip. If anyone has any information about their origins, I'd love to learn more!

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Today's find is this ridiculously cute celluloid brooch from the Antique Collection Mall in Albuquerque. The Antique Collection Mall houses the Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry shop — an amazing collection of costume jewelry, specifically Bakelite, Victorian jet jewelry and pieces by Miram Haskell. I felt like I was looking at a costume jewelry museum rather than an antique shop!

Although I loved almost every piece of jewelry I found at Morning Glory, the price range was far above what I wanted to pay.

Right before I was leaving the shop, I found this brooch in another — and far less glamorous — section of the store. It's a western charms brooch with an owl, grapes, wagon wheel, log, acorn, leaf and whiskey jug (complete with the XXX). At $10, I considered it a bargain. 

There are no marks, so I haven't been able to find any information about the brooch. A hot water test made me fairly certain it was celluloid (it has a strong vinegar smell). I would imagine it was from the 1950s-1960s based on the charms. On our trip, I actually saw the exact brooch (with a different color palette) at Double Take in Santa Fe. Their brooch was $89.

When I'm buying jewelry, I'm far more interested in the history of the piece than the value. I'm happy buying a $10 piece that's worth $10 if I find the piece interesting and I think I'm going to wear it. Here's another version of the brooch I found online, as well as an owl pin that seems to have been cast with the same mold. Even though these two pieces are from the same family, there's no additional information to help me date it or find out the origins.

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Here's a view of the back — you can see that it has its original C-clasp backing.

If anyone has any other information about this piece, I'd love to hear it!


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. That is AMAZING. I love it! What a great find, indeed.

  2. You majorly scored!!!!

  3. So cute!