Monday, October 1, 2007


Medallions were used extensively in Victorian decorating as elements of elegance added to many items in the home. They hung on picture frames, tablecloths, draperies, chair covers, mantle scarves, pillows, slipcovers, etc. Placed adjacent to items of importance, they were the “bling” that drew the eye to that area on the Victorian table, piano, shelf, or curio cabinet.

Used also on clothing, the smaller medallions could be pinned on a blouse at the neckline, on the sleeve or on the waist or belt. They were used in formal attire to pull up an overskirt to show a lovely lace underskirt. You would also see them adorning hats and bonnets (both over and under the brim) or parasols that were so popular at the time. Look at an antique purse and you will probably find a medallion attached.

Some medallions were strictly floras, made by the women of the household by hand from ribbon or cloth. They often showcased beautiful hand beading with pearls, imported beads and jewels. Of course, modern times forbid the use of expensive jewels and real pearls, but we have the advantage of many faux imitations of the same beautiful embellishments.

Other medallions were made in the millinery shops by women and men trained in the art of making fine florals, hand made ribbon work, hand beading and lace work. This was a vocation usually taught in early childhood by a grandparent or older relative of the middle and lower classes.

Usually on a backing of stiff material, the Victorian Medallion would always be hand crafted. Women of the household would sit and do handwork on these beauties to add to their already exaggerated decorating. Many had a pin attachment but most were just sewn on to the item of choice with a heavy quilting thread, and then removed for cleaning or to put on a different element of décor. You would often find several matching medallions throughout a room on different items and in several sizes.

Because medallions are so versatile, you can use them anywhere! Think of how special a gift package would be with one in place of a bow. Imagine one lying next to a beautiful bar of hand made soap in the powder room or pinned on the side of a hand towel.

Wouldn’t dinner be extra special with one holding your table scarf up in one corner or on a ribbon tied around your napkin?

Aunt May’s Medallions are made using popular colors and embellishments. They are of heirloom quality meant to be passed down through generations as reminders of the owner’s beauty, grace and elegant good taste. Each medallion is carefully hand made and intended to be an item of art on its own. We still do hand beading and make ribbon roses just as the Victorian ladies did. A heavy backing with a Venice lace appliqué overlay is used for the base of all of our medallions. Each one has a 1 ½” pin on the back for easy attachment and removal.

All of Aunt May’s Medallions are on sale at half off this week only!!


Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

soo pretty!!!

Reflections from the Stone Nest said...

I just love how you tie in the history of an item or idea and then show how it can be used. You're very clever, Bertie! The medallions you show in the pictures are so lovely.

Have a wonderful day

Dolly said...

Dear sweet Bertie,
Thank you with all my heart for the virtual hugs.....that means alot to me!
Hubby promises we will get more chicks next spring! :-)

I absolutely love your pretty medallions....I have one from my secret sis {wink} and I love finding different places to use it!

Ladies run over and BUY some of Berties wonderful medallions... you will not be sorry!

Luvs ya sweetpea,
Hugz, Dolly

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Bertie, I love the knowledge I get when I read your blog! your medallions are over the top gorgeous!!! I know first hand ladies how gorgeous they are because i have one!!!! It is so beautiful and has so many uses!!

Love ya Bertie,

Stephanie said...

Your medallions are 2die4!! I am enjoying mine that I purchased from you so much & get so many compliments on them. Can't wait to use them at Bree's wedding, too!

Your pictures are just the best!

Love & Hugs,
Angelic Accents