Antique Stick Pins - A Statement Jewelry That Makes You Look Stylish

Once upon a time, antique stick pins, beautiful and usually unique pieces of jewelry, were something that only men had the privilege to wear.

Composed of primarily two components, a long pin, and a decorative head, this antique jewel was used to fix men's cravats. Stick pins were particularly popular among sporting men who used them while riding a horse or playing tennis.

Nowadays, stick pins are also used by women as gorgeous antique pieces of jewelry that have the power to embellish their wardrobes.

Antique stick pins are widely sought after amongst jewelry lovers, both men, and women, as many of them are unique and have the hidden power to light up the outfit.

The Antique Stick Pin - From Utilitarian Purpose To Jewelry Role


Unlike other jewelry designed at the time for aesthetic or status-showing reasons, antique stick pins were created for a utilitarian purpose. Largely manufactured between 1830 and 1920, they were (and still are) used to fix and hold a gentleman’s necktie. They were particularly popular among sporting men who used them while riding a horse or playing tennis.

As cravats were mainly made from silk, satin, lace, lightly starched cambric, and so on, antique stick pins were necessary accouterments to keep these expensive but slippery fabrics in place and safe.

In the beginning, antique stick pins were quite expensive to craft, so men of that era resorted to elaborate knotting styles for their cravat. Stick pins were only bought and worn by members of the upper echelons of society. They commonly used pearls and other precious gemstones set in gold or other precious metals and were designed specifically for their owners, making them look classy and of high importance in society.

However, in 1832 the situation changed! A pin-making machine was patented in America, so stick pins could be produced faster and much much cheaper and, of course, in more diverse shapes and designs.

If in the 1830s and 40's the antique stick pins were relatively simple in design, starting with 1850 stick pins became more extravagant. Ties also became more popular with the upper-middle classes, so the need for stick pins increased and, of course, men with taste and money wished for more elaborate and luxurious antique stick pins to show their status or to look classy.

The Great Variety Of Antique Stick Pins

According to Sotheby's, during the latter part of the 19th century and well into the 20th century, scarf pins, along with cufflinks and cigarette cases, were favorite royal gifts.

In April 1892, Queen of Great Britain distributed various presents on her visit to Hyères in the south of France, including several scarf pins; one, a simple pearl, she gave to the son of her hotel proprietor, M. Peyron, and another, gold-headed with her 'V' cipher in gemstones, was selected for Lieut. Vallier, commander of her local guard of honor.

The jewelry aspect of antique stick pins comes from their decorative top. Decorated with precious and semiprecious gemstones, these tops were manufactured in a wide range of shapes from horseshoes to animals and flowers and even mythological creatures.

Not only European gentlemen loved stick pins. By the 1870s, Americans had embraced stick pins and designs were mass-produced which included animal heads, horseshoes, knife, and fork motifs, crossed pipes, wishbones, bugs, flowers, shields, and a host of other figural motifs.

Antique Vintage Stick Pins Are Highly Collectible

Stick pins were widely incorporated into men’s fashion, and by the 1890s these beautiful vintage jewels were adopted by women too. The women have begun to wear their own versions of pins to secure their scarves. From there, the concept expanded, and antique stick pins were used to bring glamour and color to the outfits.

Women used to fix stick pins on the lapels of their coats or wear this tiny beautiful jewelry even with sporting outfits for bicycling, boating, horseback riding, tennis, and golf. The ascot, four-in-hand, sailor scarf, cravat bow tie, and wrapped scarf all became popular for both men and women, and all could be set off with an ornamental stick pin.

After World War I, stick pins, and hat pins became less and less popular being replaced by fasteners like buttons and zips.

Nowadays stick pins are no longer being manufactured, at least not on a large scale as they are replaced by other more utilitarian items, but this doesn't make them less beautiful. Quite the opposite. The rarest an item is, the more sought-after it will be.

Antique stick pinks keep being highly collectible, especially by antique jewelry lovers and men and women who love the perfume of the old, golden days when the world was simpler and people more gentile.
Check out now our DSF Antique Jewelry online store and discover a broad collection of unique antique stick pins waiting for their new masters!

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