A brooch was a pin featuring a large central cut jewel surrounded by diamonds or pearls. Women fastened brooches to the necklines of their dresses. At the beginning of the century, women pinned a brooch at the center of their scooped necklines near their breasts or attached a brooch to a ribbon tied tightly around their neck. By the end of the century, however, women covered more of their chests and used brooches to hold their collars in place at the base of their necks.
Bigelow, Marybelle S. Fashion in History: Apparel in the Western World. Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Publishing, 1970.
Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.