/brohch, broohch/, n.
a clasp or ornament having a pin at the back for passing through the clothing and a catch for securing the point of the pin.
Also, broach.
[1175-1225; ME broche BROACH, differentiated in sp. since ca. 1600]

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Ornamental pin with a clasp to attach it to a garment.

Brooches developed from the Greek and Roman fibula, which resembled a decorative safety pin and was used as a fastening for cloaks and tunics. Brooches have been made in a wide variety of shapes throughout history, the ornamentation and design varying from region to region. In the 19th century, with the expansion of wealth and the creation of a market for inexpensive jewelry, the brooch became a popular form of personal decoration.

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      ornamental pin, usually with a clasp to attach it to a garment. Brooches developed from the Roman clasp, or fibula (q.v.), similar to a safety pin, in regions that had been part of the Roman Empire. In the severe climate of northern Europe, the brooch became the characteristic ornament because it routinely functioned as a fastening for a heavy cloak or tunic.

      Brooches have been made in many different shapes. A long brooch that resembled the fibula was made throughout Europe from the Black Sea to Britain, differing in ornamentation and design in each region. The brooch characteristic of the Franks (Frank) was a rosette, or circular brooch, generally decorated with filigree. At first the Scandinavians developed brooches based on the fibula, but after about 550 their brooches became more individualized. Their “tortoise” (7th to early 11th century), trefoil (9th–11th century), and circular brooches are generally decorated with symmetrical designs of considerable beauty. Continental gold filigree and complex cloisonné work were introduced into England by the Teutonic tribes. “Saucer” brooches were fairly common, often with rosette designs or zoomorphic patterns. With the introduction of Christianity came forms such as pendant crosses, in which Carolingian and Byzantine influence is evident. The penannular brooch, in the form of a ring with a small break in the circumference, was characteristic of Irish production; generally of great size and probably worn on the shoulder with the pin pointing upward, it was richly decorated with interlaced patterns. The finest example is the Tara brooch (q.v.), which is now in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.

      Throughout the Middle Ages the brooch continued to be widely used, often in the form of a ring in which the pin is held in position by the pull of the fabric through which it passes. As improvements came about in jewelry-making techniques, brooches became more varied. They could be combined with cameos (cameo), for example, and set with precious gems cut in new techniques, and they could be made in the form of birds, flowers, leaves, crescents, stars, bows, and the like. With the expansion of wealth in the 19th century and the creation of a market for vast quantities of inexpensive jewelry, brooches became a popular commercial form.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brooch — (br[=o]ch; 277), n. [See {Broach}, n.] 1. An ornament, in various forms, with a tongue, pin, or loop for attaching it to a garment; now worn at the breast by women; a breastpin. Formerly worn by men on the hat. [1913 Webster] Honor s a good… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Brooch — Brooch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Brooched} (br[=o]cht).] To adorn as with a brooch. [R.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • brooch — [brəutʃ US broutʃ] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: broche pointed tool, pin , from Vulgar Latin brocca, from Latin broccus sticking out ] a piece of jewellery that you fasten to your clothes, usually worn by women American Equivalent:… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • brooch — [ broutʃ ] noun count a piece of jewelry with a pin on the back that you fasten to your clothes …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • brooch — early 13c., from O.Fr. broche long needle (see BROACH (Cf. broach) (n.)). Specialized meaning led 14c. to distinct spelling …   Etymology dictionary

  • brooch — [n] ornamental pin bar pin, breastpin, clip, cluster, jewelry; concept 446 …   New thesaurus

  • brooch — ► NOUN ▪ an ornament fastened to clothing with a hinged pin and catch. ORIGIN Old French broche spit for roasting , from Latin brocchus projecting …   English terms dictionary

  • brooch — [brōch, bro͞och] n. [ME broche: see BROACH] a large ornamental pin with a clasp, worn by women, usually at the neck …   English World dictionary

  • Brooch — Detail of the Irish pseudo penannular Londesborough Brooch A brooch (pronounced /ˈbroʊtʃ/); also known in ancient times as a fibula; is a decorative jewelry item designed to be attached to garments. It is usually made of metal, often silver… …   Wikipedia

  • brooch — (esp. BrE) noun ADJECTIVE ▪ cameo ▪ diamond, pearl, etc. VERB + BROOCH ▪ have on, wear ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

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