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Ornamental pin with a clasp to attach it to a garment. Brooches developed from the Greek and Roman fibula, which resembled a decorative safety pin and was used as a fastening for cloaks and tunics. Brooches have been made in a wide variety of shapes throughout history, the ornamentation and design varying from region to region. In the 19th century, with the expansion of wealth and the creation of a market for inexpensive jewelry, the brooch became a popular form of personal decoration.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on brooch, visit Britannica.com.