Exquisite or W A P Watson Ltd produced costume jewellery in the UK from 1914 to 1979. One of the most popular series was the Birthday range. Hand painted flowers designs for each month of the year.
The series was ideal for a birthday gift and you could choose from a necklace, a brooch or clip on earrings. Or even buy the whole set to coordinate your look. The brooches were made in two sizes a small and a larger one. During my research I have not found any bracelets but I do think they may have been produced and so if you own one I would love to know!
Each piece of jewellery was hand painted with cold enamel; and that means there are many different variations to be found, which makes collecting them quite interesting.
The flowers used for each month were the popular easy to grow varieties that start to first bloom then here in the UK. A mix of perennial plants and annual ones.
Below is a list of the months and the flower design used
January – snowdrop (white flowers with long green leaves)
February – primrose (yellow flowers with green leaves)
March – violets (pink/purple flowers with green leaves)
April – iris (blue flowers with long green leaves)
May – pansy (blue, yellow & pink flowers with green leaves)
June – rose (red roses with green leaves)
July – fuschia (pink, mauve flowers with green leaves)
August – poppy (red poppy with green leaves)
September – cornflower (blue flowers with green leaves))
October – carnation (pink, white flowers with green leaves)
November – chrysanthemum (purple flowers with green leaves)
December – Christmas rose or Helleborus Niger (white flowers with yellow centre, red holly berries & green leaves)
The brooches were in sizes 7 x 5 cm (larger) & 5 x 4 cm (medium). Characteristic is of a bunch of flowers open & in bud tied with a ribbon bow.
Necklaces were flowers and leaves arranged in a row with a length of plain chain to the clasp
Earrings all clip on type with a flower and leaves.
Most of the brooches and earring appear to be signed on the reverse “Exquisite” or have the reg and copyright sign also. Many of the necklaces are unsigned but usually have the signature bow attached to the clasp.
The Birthday range can be found in their original boxes or on pouches. If you are lucky some have the birthday gift tag. They were available in gold or silver tone metal.
As Exquisite jewellery was hand enamelled care needs to be taken when buying a piece. Look at the photographs or examine the piece in depth. Some pieces are in excellent condition but some may have the enamel worn. Remember if the enamel is too worn you can hand paint it yourself.
Vintage costume jewellery by Exquisite was produced over a long time and there are many different series to collect – so have fun.