Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Sweetheart brooch made from US Army Air Force wings

Date: 1939 - 1945(?)
Overall: 18 x 65 mm, 0.02 kg
Medium: Silver alloy
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Brooch
Object No: 00030068
Related Place:United States,

User Terms

    This sweetheart brooch is made from US Army Air Force Wings. The names Geoff and Betty are etched on the back of the brooch. The sweetheart custom dates back to World War I and even earlier. It continued when the U.S. faced more formidable opponents during World War II. One of the favorite ways to show patriotism and feel close to those serving was by wearing a special piece of jewellery reflecting the branch of service a sweetheart, son or brother was representing.
    SignificanceThis brooch illustrates the impact of separation on families and loved ones during World War II. It provided a serviceman with a tangible link to their family at home. For the person who received this badge it served as a reminder of their loved one fighting in the war.
    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.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Trench art sweetheart brooch made from US army air force wings

    Web title: Sweetheart brooch made from US Army Air Force wings

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.