Stick pins, or tie pins, are worn inserted vertically into ties or lapels. Men started to wear stock pins in 18th century to secure their stock tie. They were particularly popular among sporting men who used them while riding a horse or playing tennis. Gentlemen today often wear them in their lapels and as a decoration, and the smaller tie pin to secure their ties.
The stick pin first became popular in the late 18th century, when it was inserted into the wide cravat that was worn by London’s most fashionable men. The pin served the purpose of holding the tie in place, but once the cravat fell out of fashion, so did the stick pin as a functional object. However, during the 19th and 20th centuries, stick pins became a key part of the gentlemen’s wardrobe as a decorative accessory to the lapel or silk tie.
Stick pins make wonderful collector’s items and appear in all different novelty forms and shapes. The stick pin collection of Bentley & Skinner ranges from small diamond-set animals to large, faceted gems. Each stick pin is a miniature treasure, and a perfect way to demonstrate personal taste and style when worn in the lapel of a simple and smart suit. Bentley & Skinner’s exceptional stick pin collection is noted in James Sherwood’s 2018 book Jewellery for Gentlemen, where Sherwood writes, ‘Bentley & Skinner has a particularly strong collection of Golden Age stick pins from the second half of the nineteenth century, such as a LaCloche Frères art deco purple pâte de verre carved Buddha with a diamond headdress and a fleur-de-lys finial, dated c1920 and set in platinum…animal pins collected by Bentley & Skinner are the liveliest examples of capturing the beast’s character, such as a yellow gold fox’s head from the 1890s with beady rose-cut diamond eyes”.
Many contemporary jewellers have stopped producing stick pins, and the best way to procure a varied collection of these lovely accessories is to buy them antique. Amongst the wide selection of gentlemen’s jewellery at Bentley & Skinner, the stick pin collection is wonderfully varied and comprehensive.
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