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Jewellery box for US Naval Officer's sweetheart brooch

Date: c 1945
Overall: 22 x 68 x 69 mm, 20.53 g
Medium: Cardboard, synthetic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Jewellery box
Object No: 00046769

User Terms

    This jewellery box was made to hold a US Naval officer's sweetheart brooch.The cardboard box is covered with paper of a pearl shell appearance and contains blue velvet padding.
    SignificanceThis jewellery represents an era where practically everyone in Australia and America backed the war effort. Women moved into factory positions while children were mounting ration campaigns. A soldier gave this jewelry to someone special as a gesture of love and remembrance. And many times the piece would signify his general location, like the South Pacific, or his branch of military service.
    HistoryBrooches given as a token of affection (hence Sweetheart Brooches) have been in existence for hundreds of years, perhaps even as far back as Roman times. They flourished during the Victorian era, giving rise to thousands of designs in gold and silver, embracing hearts, lovebirds, flowers and leaves, together with symbols of religious significance such as an anchor or a cross.

    The Boer war and more particularly World War I and World War II gave rise to many thousands of these brooches, all with a military connection, now commonly known as military sweetheart brooches. This term is now often used to embrace any piece of jewellery that has military significance.

    An American entrepreneur, Lloyd George Balfour noticed a gap in the student jewellery market in 1913. He formed a company, called Balfour, to manufacture and distribute sorority and fraternity jewellery to colleges throughout the United States. During the Second World War, the United States Army tasked the company with producing military insignia.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Jewellery box for US Naval Officer's sweetheart brooch

    Assigned title: Jewellery box for US Naval officer's sweetheart brooch

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