Continuing my little blog series, where I share a different vintage thing every few days, it’s time for C and I’ve chosen clip-on earrings. Before the 1960s it was far less common to have your ears pierced, so the majority of vintage earrings were clip-ons, or sometimes screw backs. When I’m out hunting for vintage they’re one of the things that I’m always on the look out for. Lots of people still prefer clip-on earrings, but they’re just not something you really find new anymore, so the vintage market is the place to go for non pierced ears.
I can remember being a little girl and trying on the clip-on or screw back earrings in my Grandparents antique shop. Not having my ears pierced, it was so much fun getting to try on all the earrings. Over the years I’ve come across so many amazing pairs from simple designs, to bright colourful plastic ones, fun novelty designs and glamorous sparkly ones. They’re definitely a fun vintage item to collect.
Here are a few of the most common types of vintage earrings. I’ve gone through the Vintage Frills Shop archives to find some of my favourite styles, so most of these are already sold, but great to use for reference. Any earrings that are still available will be linked.
Cluster clip-on earrings are made up of lots of small beads and other elements, usually wired together. They are beautifully chunky and great for making a statement. They can be made with lots of different materials, but usually glass or plastic. The ones above are a beautiful milk glass example.
Here are some more examples of cluster earrings, including a beautiful plastic pearl flower pair, where the beads have been formed into a shapes. An amazing pair made from yellow plastic with visible wiring, a pair with a mixture of glass and plastic beads, aurora borealis beads and metal elements and some lovely pastel earrings with pretty plastic beads in different shades.
This gorgeous pair of orange 1960s earrings use different shapes beads to create a bold floral effect.
I love anything novelty when I comes to vintage, especially anything featuring fruit. So I have a real soft spot for fruit themed clip-on earrings. They are often intricately decorated with glass and plaster bead details and are wired or glued together like cluster earrings. They often have hand pained details like the ones above.
If you want to go for that fruity Carmen Miranda inspired look, but also want to keep it subtle, adding some fruit earrings is a great way to do it! Here’s a really old pic of me wearing a pair of fruit earrings from my own collection.
These beautiful deadstock vintage clip-on earrings have a milk glass base and lovely Czechoslovakian glass with plaster fruit and flowers. I love how delicately made they are and all the little miniature details.
Floral Clip-on Earrings
Flowers always feature heavily in fashion, especially when I comes to vintage. I’ve had literally hundreds of different floral clip-on earrings pass through the shop and my own collection over the years. There’s such a huge variety of designs and styles that it would be impossible to include them all! The pair above are clip on dangle earrings, which are less easy to find, but make such a gorgeous addition to a vintage jewellery collection.
This pair are made with bone china and were probably part of a set with a matching brooch. I find the brooches all the time, but find the earrings a bit rarer and harder to source.
These milk glass cornucopia earrings feature beautiful bunches of plaster and glass flowers. They are definitely a statement piece!
A beautiful vintage jewellery set by Kigu in it’s original box, this probably dates from the 1960s. Sets featuring a brooch and matching clip on earrings were quite common and it’s always lovely to find hem with their original box.
More Czechoslovakian glass and plaster earrings, lightweight plastic climber earrings, some simple plastic flowers and some very pretty celluloid plastic earrings with the petals wired together like cluster earrings.
These little floral painted earrings remind me of gorgeous frame brooches, which I collected for many years. I love anything romantic and feminine, so these definitely compliment my style.
Some more gorgeous plastic floral earrings. These are by far the most common types I come across, they are great because hey are lightweight and easy to wear. The screw back dangle earrings above are particularly lovely.
I adore bright colours and vintage plastics. So I’m always drawn to fun vintage plastic jewellery. Whether that be simple one-tone pieces or bright rainbow earrings. All of the earrings above have lovely little moulded details and fabulous colours. They’re perfect for mixing and matching with vintage outfits to finish off a look.
Because they are quite cheap and cheerful, it’s easy to build up a nice collection of vintage plastic earrings. I love the yellow hexagons above Because hey are easy to style, but still have lots of gorgeous detailing. The pink earrings are lucite confetti earrings from the 50s and I’m always delighted to find these. You can also find lots of modern reproduction confetti earrings too.
Bakelite is the king of vintage plastics and with that comes a higher price tag. Personally I collect vintage bakelite bangles and have quite a large collection now, but you can also find lots of gorgeous vintage Bakelite clip-on earrings too.
Bakelite was mostly produced in the first half on the 20th century and is a lovely chunky plastic, perfect for making jewellery. It can be identified by having no mould seams and it’s strong formaldehyde smell when it is warmed up.
Bone Clip-on Earrings
It may seem a little odd thinking about bone jewellery now, as it’s not so common. But I come across vintage jewellery made of bone quite often. Especially anything with an alpine theme and featuring edelweiss flowers. These delicate floral bone earrings are beautifully carved.
This sweet set came with a matching brooch. These are usually made of bovine bone, that has been carefully carved into different shapes. The bone is often hand painted to add details, like on the set above. Brooches are very easy to find, but the earrings are a little less common.
Of course here are many more styles of vintage clip-on earrings as well as really simple elegant ones. But I hope this guide has inspired you a little to start seeking out some new gorgeous vintage jewellery.
Clip-on Earrings from Vintage Frills Shop
I am always stocking up on new jewellery for the shop, but it always sells out pretty fast. So I’m definitely hoping to source some more fabulous clip-on earrings very soon. Here are a few of he lovely earrings I have available in he shop now.
Blue and pink plastic flower earrings SOLD – Pink feather earrings.
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