These twin lapel pins are immaculately preserved souvenirs from the 1835 appearance of Halley's Comet, a "short-period" (i.e., frequently recurring) comet whose appearances have been recorded by humans since 240 BCE. It was the British astronomer Edmund Halley who gave the comet its name in 1705, when he realized it was the same celestial entity whose passage had been noted by the ancient Greeks, Babylonians, and, most famously, the medieval English, who took its 1066 appearance as an omen of political strife. (Their king, Harold II, was murdered in battle by William the Conqueror later that year.)
The pins vary slightly in size—indicate whether you'd like the bigger or smaller version using the drop-down menu below. The pin featured on the top of the "featured" photo measures about 1 1/4" long and holds a paste with a cushion-like cut, about 5/16" wide; the one on the bottom measures 1" with a 1/4" wide paste.
To see this piece in person, visit our shop in Nolita, New York.