The History and Charm of Fur Clips: A Comprehensive Guide

The History and Charm of Fur Clips: A Comprehensive Guide

The History and Charm of Fur Clips: A Comprehensive Guide

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Fur clips are a unique and beautiful accessory that have been around since the 1920s and continued to be used into the 1950s. These clips were initially designed as an alternative to traditional pins and brooches, specifically for fur coats. Over time, they have become a versatile accessory, perfect for accenting any outfit. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the rich history and charm of fur clips, including their design, materials, and tips for choosing the best pieces for your collection.


The Origins of Fur Clips

Fur clips first gained popularity in the 1920s, a time when costume jewelry was becoming more prevalent. Prior to this, jewelry was typically reserved for the wealthy and was made from precious metals and stones. However, with the rise of costume jewelry, women of all social classes could enjoy beautiful and fashionable accessories. Although sources state that the first fur clips originated as fine jewelry (from Cartier), many fashion jewelry companies soon jumped on the trend of producing this new unique type of accessory.


How are Fur Clips Different Than Brooches and Dress Clips?

Fur clips are similar to brooches or pins but attach to clothing in a slightly different way. Brooches pierce through a material with a single pin mechanism and generally latch closed with a clasp. Dress clips were designed to be attached to clothing with a simple folding clip, so they are limited to being placed at the edge of a fabric or material. Fur clips are different in that they were designed to pierce through the material with two larger prongs and then fold to a closed position, leaving a beautiful top embellishment visible. Designs vary widely, from simple geometric shapes to intricate floral and animal designs.

Fur Clip BackFur Clip Open
Fur Clip Mechanism


Vintage Dress Clip

 Dress Clip Mechanism


Fur Clip Examples

Throughout history, many notable designers have created beautiful and unique fur clips. The designs range in style from the fine gold and diamond look to the colorful and whimsical, with figural representations and florals decorated with enamel. Here are some examples of vintage fur clips by various well-known designers.

Rhinestone Fur Clip


How to Wear Fur Clips

Fur clips are a versatile accessory that can be worn in many different ways. Here are a few ideas for how to wear fur clips:

On a Coat

Fur clips were originally designed for use with fur coats and are still a popular way to accent a coat. Simply clip the fur clip onto the coat for a stylish and practical accessory. The bigger prongs of a fur clip will pierce a material, so make sure the fabric you are attaching one to is able to "bounce back." An example of a fabric that would be suitable might be wool or a knit fabric.

On a Sweater

Fur clips can also be used to accent a sweater or cardigan. Clip the fur clip onto the collar or lapel for a pop of color and texture.

On a Scarf

Fur clips can add a unique touch to a scarf or shawl. Clip the fur clip onto the scarf to hold it in place and add a touch of glamor.

*Additional Tip for wearing fur clips: 

You can add rubber earring stoppers at the tips to prevent accidently poking the skin.


Collecting Fur Clips

Fur clips are a popular collectible item, prized for their unique designs and historical significance. If you're interested in collecting fur clips, here are a few tips to get started:


Research Different Designers

There were many designers who created fur clips throughout history. Researching different designers can help you identify unique and valuable pieces. Notable designers to collect include Trifari, Coro, Mazer, Dujay, Reja, Boucher, Staret, and Eisenberg, to name a few.

One way to research different vintage jewelry designs is to do a Google search for a patent number that may be present on your jewelry item. This Coro bird fur clip doesn't have a patent number but I was able to find some information about the piece by looking through Coro jewelry patents online. I was even able to locate an original advertisement that included this piece! From the patent, I was able to see that this design was patented by Coro in 1942.

Look for Quality Materials, Rarity, and Signature

Fur clips made from high-quality materials sterling silver are often more valuable than those made from cheaper materials although rarity of design and a well-known designer signature is equally as important when collecting for value.


Consider Condition

The condition of a fur clip can also affect its value. Look for fur clips that are in good condition with no or minimal missing or darkened stones. If stones have been replaced, make sure they are a match to the original stones that were initially intended for the piece at time of production. Look for wear to the enamel and corrosion of the metal. The metal should generally be smooth and have a shine, especially if it is plated with rhodium or gold. Make sure the plating is in nice condition and has not worn away. Some wear is expected on vintage pieces so don't expect perfection unless you are willing to pay top dollar! Make sure the mechanism on the back is in good working order and not loose unless you just want the item for display purposes. 



Fur clips are a unique and beautiful accessory that have been popular for nearly a century. Whether you're looking to add a touch of Hollywood glamor to a coat or sweater or are interested in collecting vintage accessories, fur clips are a versatile and elegant choice with a wide and interesting variety of design. By understanding the history and charm of fur clips, you can appreciate these beautiful accessories even more.

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