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Victorian Silver Bicycle Brooch

Victorian Silver Bicycle Brooch



DATE: Victorian, 1896

A superb antique bicycle brooch in sterling silver and dating from the year 1896. I was somewhat surprised that it was made in the 19th century, as it looks remarkably similar to a modern bicycle, but a small amount of internet research* has concluded that - fundamentally at least - not much has changed in bicycle design over the past 130 years.

The 1890s saw one of the seven "bike booms," driven by a few new and revolutionary advances: mainly the invention of the safety bicycle with geared chain-driven transmission allowing for smaller wheels without a concurrent loss of speed, and the invention of the pneumatic tyre. The safety bicycle superseded the notorious penny farthing, and opened up the world of 'cycling to a far broader audience. In 1896 - the year this brooch was made - there was simultaneously an increase in bicycle popularity and a severe economic depression, with the bicycle trade one of the few parts of the economy to display continued growth with people buying bicycles "whether they could afford them or not". The 1890s also saw the application of the internal combustion engine to the bicycle, resulting in the motorcycle, then soon after to the four wheeled carriage to create the first "automobile". What a time to be alive.

*Also worth looking into is the Hotchkiss Bicycle Railroad, if you're interested in this sort of thing.


4.0 x 2.4cm




English hallmarks for sterling silver, Birmingham 1896


Very good

Victorian Silver Bicycle Brooch Victorian Silver Bicycle Brooch Victorian Silver Bicycle Brooch Victorian Silver Bicycle Brooch

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