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THIRD in the series by the author, the range of ‘sweethearts’ is endless – different types, materials, regiments and countries. With the earliest pieces in this book being the tin button badges worn during the Boer War, souvenirs in the form of hat pins were first worn during this war, when tiny metal-rimmed, celluloid-covered, photographs of favourite generals and heads of state were attached to steel pins and used to secure the large hats worn by ladies.

The pins could be as long as 16 inches and Suffragette prisoners were warned not to wear them in court. Pity. To preserve the eyesight of fellow passengers on the Under-ground or in trams, protectors were devised; imaginative housemaids, we’re told, used a small piece of raw potato.

During WWII, when the pins went down to 12 inches, servicemen presented their lady friends with a button from their uniform and thus the sweetheart hat pin came into fashion. Button manufacturers were quick off the mark and made hat pins with regimental emblems – these are difficult to find today as most are in private collections.

With approximate values given for the examples featured and marks where appropriate for the brooches, buttons and shields, regiments with colourful and romantic histories are covered in this book – The Black Watch, The Royal Scots Greys and The Artists’ Rifles are among the most sought after of all ‘sweethearts’ – and increasingly hard to find.

Informative little book for collectors of Lest We Forget-type sentimental/mawkish jewellery.