Vintage Sea Shell Pin Lime Flower Brooch 1950s Tropical Jewelry
I strongly admire old sea shell jewelry, and I collect unique pieces only. This is the largest pin in my collection and the bright vivid lime green is fascinating.
The large layered blooming flower is made of tiny clam shells that were dyed bright lime green. Each clam shell is about 3/8" wide and there are dozens of shells on this brooch. The large dark green leaves with shiny clear coats are operculums, or the foot of a larger shell.
The natural serrated edges of the operculums simulates the life like design of real leaves. The two stems on the bottom are another type of sea shell; they are long stems from what was once a large thorny oyster. As thorny oysters only grow in very deep water, the spines used to be typically collected on beaches only. I say used to be, because you don't find spiny oyster fragments on Florida beaches anymore because the deep water population of these shells has diminished greatly.
The brooch is rather large. It measures 3 3/4" long x 2 1/2" wide. It is in perfect like new condition and has the original celluloid back with the original fine working safety clasp.
I acquired this brooch from a lady in Florida who bought a collection from another lady in Florida who made this brooch in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I have other pieces for sale from this collection as well and I can tell you that the shells she has used were most likely collected on Sanibel Island or an area slightly farther south at least 50 years ago. I can tell you this because I am a retired marine biologist who lived in the FL Keys for 20 years, and I know a great deal about shells, their origins and abundance in certain areas.