Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fly By Night - Antique Comet Pins

Summertime...fireflys...gazing at a star filled night. It all reminds me of antique comet pins. From the dawn of time, people have been fascinated with the heavens. The Georgians and Victorians were no exception to this. They were quite enamored by Halley's comet. Named after Edmond Halley...he predicted that this comet would return in 1758. Which it did...but he did not live to see it's return. He noted that it had previously appeared in the years 1531, 1607 and 1682. The comet reappears roughly every 75 years.

It was then seen again in 1834...then 1910...and if you were one of the lucky people (and I was) you got to view the return of Halley's comet in 1986!

Mark Twain was born in 1835 when Halley's comet was still visible. It is said that he did not want to leave this earth until it returned. He sadly passed away April, 10 1910...just one day after the comet became visible in the sky. Some people dispute this claim.

This is a gorgeous antique Victorian comet pin that I have in my collection. The stone represents the comet and the long gold part of the pin represents the comet's tail.

It has a wonderful paste stone and has black taille d' epergne enameling. Is a little over an inch long...as were many comet pins. Short and sweet!

This is a view of the back of the pin. It is engraved 1873...possibly to represent another comet... discovered by Horace Tuttle and Ernst Temple in 1873. It was named 10P/Tempel 2.

The paste stone has become clouded...but I still prize this piece!

This is an example of an Edwardian Halley's comet pin. It dates to 1910. Gorgeous!

Another Edwardian Halley's comet pin...with an amethyst.

There are also some fabulous antique comet pins listed in various shops on Ruby Lane. This link will take you right to the search page! :)

Happy comet hunting!


  1. That is so strange that you Blogged about this today. Must be some sister telepathy going on. I was just telling Benjamin about Mark Twain and the comet two days ago!

  2. Great minds think alike! :) The comet pins have really been on my mind...You must have been sending me the vibes...Can you give me some ideas for my next post! :)

  3. Also mourning lockets and the hair braiding. That has always been fascinating to me.