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Stolen Vintage Jewellery and WW2 Memorabilia

About an hour after the 2 minute silence on Armistice Day (11th November 2014), a man broke into my home and stole selective pieces from my WW2 collection, nearly all my vintage jewellery, my silver wedding purse, ww2 leaflets, WW2 letter records (the type you play on a record player), a panther/ leopard bracelet based on the Duchess of Windsor’s, ww2 pamphlets, pocket watches, vintage watches, cufflinks, tiebars and even my Grandmother’s WW2 Identification Card. They stole a Nikon D70s camera with a DX lens along with memory cards (holding photos for a future article as well as other things) and my back up drive housing all my photos and videos.

They also broke into my next door neighbours house and as well as jewellery and the like stole his Saxophone?!

We have 1 possible sighting and that was of a man holding a large box of stuff with a large scary dog. He was stood opposite the Lower Compton turning on King’s Lane, Stratford upon Avon.

I have lost all of my Grandmother’s jewellery, all I have left is her lace handkerchief. I have lost my Art Deco engagement ring, all the vintage jewellery I have collected over the years at shows, my torpedo necklace and earring, compacts, and even a Bundles for Britain charm bracelet which was a treasured gift.

I cannot tell you how it feel to walk into your home, knowing someone had been in there. The sudden gust of cold air coming from an unseen broken window and the crackle of glass underfoot as you scan the room. This guy had carefully selected pieces from my cabinet and even closed the door again. This is not an easy cabinet to get into and you don’t just push it gently shut. He had been less careful in the bedroom with all cupboards and drawers opened, bags ripped open (one gas mask bag lock had been torn in his haste to check the contents). The thief shook out my military burlesque costumes out of my WW2 kit bag to put his loot in (if you spot this, it has white stenciled writing on it, an address for an American College) before going next door.

I am still so shaken, I can’t think straight, I can’t sleep right and I want to stay hopeful and proactive enough to track down at least 1 of these things that may give us a lead. This was a professional job and he knew what he was taking. Some of these items, especially my engagement ring, leopard bracelet and charm bracelet are so unique and rare that these should stand out. Please help us catch these crooks?

So I am calling on you antiques dealers, militaria collectors and dealers, carbooters, followers, friends, anyone out there who can help. We will be doing local searches and internet searches, but it is going to take far more than that to hunt a piece down I am sure of it.

Below are some images of just a few things that were taken. If you can print them off and carry them around with you when you go to your next antiques centre, or keep your phone handy to check the photos at a militaria show then that would be fantastic. Don’t worry about searching for the Tiki Mask Brooch, he dropped that.

Notify the police immediately if you see anything. My crime incident number is Kitten 23S6/25722H/14. Or you can say it is regarding the Von Mew Burglary in Stratford upon Avon on 11th Nov.

stolen vintage jewellery and items Stolen 2 for FB Stolen Items 3 FB Stolen Items 4 FB

Wartime Novelty Gifts for Morale and Funds

As Britain pokes its meerkat head out of another recession hole, it got me thinking about how things like this effect people’s buying habits. As some people may know, I am a creative writer at a gift company in the week (no, I don’t know how I fit it all in either!!!) and in the recession’s lowest period, people didn’t stop buying, they just bought cheap novelty gifts which were affordable for the occasion and morale boosting too.

I love collecting WWII novelties and took some photos of a few of my favourite bits and bobs. I started collecting music sheets and brooches, but thanks to my friend’s in America sending me some fantastically tacky specimens, this has now taken off! Fundraising was a huge part of the homefront. From homeless families to wounded soldiers, cheap and often fun items were made to aid the war effort and people’s dwindling spirits. We often put rose tinted glasses on when looking back at this awful time and although there was a lot of comradery, we cannot forget what a horrendously dire time this was for all involved. A novelty compact mirror in the shape of an officers cap may not be able to raise the opposition’s white flag, but I am sure it raised a smile! Whether bought by a soldier to send to his girl, or bought by a lady supporting her man’s efforts in the service, such things were a little light heartedness in a dark time.


I have some fabulous 1940’s jewellery and am a lover of brooches. I have chosen some that are specifically of this era, but it can be difficult to tell when it comes to lucite jewellery as people were carving them well into the 60’s! In the war, these were generally made from the windscreens of crashed German aircraft and sold for the war effort or given to sweethearts. Reverse carving them, the shapes would be painted to give a real 3D effect to the flowers or objects. I have a lovely Spitfire one, of which I wear often! You will also see a wonderful Bundles for Britain charm bracelet which is a real stunner. Bundles for Britain was an American charity, raising money for us. You may come across the emblem, which is usually a rearing lion in a white shield with a red and blue striped ribbon. Another fantastic piece is my silver bomb set! A necklace and earrings in the shape of torpedos, they are subtle with a cheeky twist.


Men’s jewellery was also a great novelty. You could get tin versions of the service rings for children and even some of the men’s sweetheart rings had lockets or secret compartments in them. We have a lovely one from America and you can see a V for Victory tie bar behind! As men were not often in civvies, there was no real need to produce ties and other novelty gifts for men as they could not be worn anyway, so hankerchiefs or other items that could be kept in a pocket were sent over, along with funny greeting cards or a letter record. These are like a vinyl record made of cardboard with a thin layer on the top. A message to a soldier or from a soldier to a family could be recorded at a shop and sent to the recipient in an envelope). I have a few of these and have played them, but as they were made to only be played a few times, they can be very difficult to hear depending on how worn they are.

Now to tableware. The flame that sparked my love of these vintage novelties was a set of Victory Bomb salt and pepper shakers. Made out of chalkware or plaster, they are crudely painted in cheerful red, white and blue! How can you not love these? Well…back then, they may have been thought of as tacky and vulgar, but just like Christmas cracker gifts, they were loved for a short period of time, which is what they are all about. I am also now the proud owner of a War Against Hitlerism teapot! I have wanted one of these for as long as I can remember. They were produced for Dyson and Horsfall who surrendered their aluminium teapots to be recycled as allied armaments. It is covered in allied flags and of course the inspiring slogan ‘Liberty and Freedom’ on the other side. The Victory vase (also a favourite bought by our friends!) is another great example and a strong symbol of the time. Everyone recognises a V with …- as the victory sign and it has become a very iconic image. Doesn’t it just fill you with strength and pride just looking at it?

salt and pepperWEBteapotWEB

So keep looking around those vintage stalls and take a gander at some of those museum quality pieces. There are some fantastic money boxes (oh for the love of a bottomless bank account…) and some very funny propaganda items such as chamber pots with Hitler’s face in them and even pincushions of Hitler bending over looking rather uncomfortable with a the cushion being is rear…