Tuesday 7 July 2009

Enter The Claw

My sister-in-law M owns one of those grouse foot brooches* that were so popular back in the mists of time (as lazy/clueless would-be historians would put it). Set in silver, the foot, or claw, was a gift from her father to her mother when they got married*.

Years later, M was given the brooch as a gift from her mother, and dutifully wore it, perhaps not as her first choice of costume jewellery, but certainly out of nostalgia. Over the years the feathers dwindled in majesty, and the claw began to look its age.

One day, one of M's cats leaned across and delicately bit off one of the talons. This might have proved a major disappointment to the biter, but who knows, cats being the mysterious and inscrutable creatures that they are?* Maybe it was simply irresistible.

The mutilated Claw, now almost featherless, began to assume a certain B-movie horror film appearance, and M began to wonder about repair or restoration, as continuing to wear it in public might be a nostalgic gesture too far for the delicate of constitution
or nerves.

But Newcastle jewellers threw up their hands in defeat - no one made or wore such brooches any more, did they? (And if they did, who were these people? Did they hunt their own costume jewellery?) There did seem to be a more modern version, but the claw element of the brooch had been transformed into something Disneyesque, a fluffy-feathered affair that obscured the talons - so fluffy, in fact, that they were sometimes thought to be rabbit's feet brooches. Again, who would wear a rabbit's foot brooch?*

* things to ponder, in a quiet contemplative moment


mountainear said...

Can only assume they did things differently then. Alan would definitely get short shrift if he ever presented me with anything similar - even whole pheasants for the oven pall after about bird no.2.

Remember those fox tippets which ancient ladies draped over thier shoulders? Nasty conglomeration of beady eyes, boney feet and a horrid pointy nose. (and that was just the wearers...)

Marie said...

I'm catching up, backwards. Very funny. Very weird.

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