Golly Corner: Brooch Sets


[All items below are Official Robertson's Merchandise]

These are the main Golly brooches and sets that have been issued by James Robertson & Sons. No attempt has been made to list all variations. The list concludes with the final approved Robertson's release. Those that are "Still Available" or "Awaiting Release" from Robertson's are highlighted. For a truly comprehensive list, Colin Dodds' checklist booklet and/or CD Robertson's guide is a must.

Early 1920s
Bakelite Tin, with leather hat Tin, with hair

1928 Pre-war Enamels with Yellow "Golden Shred" Waistcoat
Jolly Golly Golfer . .

Available with and without a bar joining the feet.

Pre War Fruits with original presentation cards and boxes
Prewar (1932) Fruits
Blackcurrant Bramble Lemon
Orange Raspberry Strawberry

Each brooch came on a presentation card and placed inside a presentation box with the name of the fruit stamped on the side. This presentation style was the inspiration for the 2000 Paisley exhibition brooch.

1935 – 1939 Enamels with Yellow "Golden Shred" Waistcoat
Cricketers*1 Footballers*2 Hockey

*1Available with and without various club names under feet (Australia, England, Derbyshire, Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucester, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Nothants, Notts, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Warwick, Worcester, Yorkshire). In addition the G.S.C.C. (Golden Shred Cricket Club) was also issued to members of Robertson's cricket team. Each of these brooches came attached to a presentation card.
*2Available with different coloured footballs (to cater for different clubs)

1937 Union Jack Waistcoat
Coronation Golly . .

There are many Reproduction versions of this brooch around. Watch out for the pop-eyes and backstamp to spot the genuine article.

1950/60s Enamels with White "Golden Shred" Waistcoat
Bagpiper Cricketer Footballer
Golfer Guitarist Hockey
Lollipopman Scout Skater
Standard Tennis Player

Many variations exist as the brooches were made by different manufacturers over a period of around 20 years. For example:–

The manufacturers involved in producing this set were: – A.W.G.*1, Coffer, Charles Davis*6, Dingley, Firmin, Fattorini & Sons, J.R. Gaunt*2, R.E.V. Gomm*5, Graham Products, Greens, Jewellery Metal Co., W.O.Lewis, Marples & Beasley*3, Melsom, H.W.Miller*4, Olympic Badges*8, W.Reeves & Co*7, .R., T, Toye & Co.

1950/60s Fruits
Lemon*1 Raspberry*2 .

*1Slight differences between those made by Fattorini and those made by Miller.
*2Available with the wording Robertson or Robertson's on the scroll.

1960 Pro-Pats
Skater Standard .

1970s Enamels with Yellow Waistcoat
Bagpiper Cricketer Footballer
Golfer Guitarist Hockey
Lollipopman Motorcyclist Scout
Skater Skateboarder Standard
Tennis Player

The 70s brooches made by Gomm are more common than those made by Fattorini. There are differences in the designs between the 2 manufacturers. For instance the Gomm Bagpiper has a custard yellow vest, different shaped eyes, bagpipe "tail" and foot, different kind of Gold bagpipe and a pipe that enters into Golly's mouth, all of which vary on the Fattorini Bagpiper.

1980s Acrylic Fruits (Bubble coated)
Orange Lemon Strawberry*1
Raspberry Blackcurrant

*1The strawberry is also available without the bubble coating.

Backstamps: There are no backstamps on this set.

1980s Acrylics (Larger Eyes with smaller, rounder pupils)
Ambulanceman*1 American Footballer*2 Astronaut*3
Bagpiper Baker Viota Brownie*4
Butcher Car Driver Commemorative 1930–80*5
Cowboy*6 Cricketer*7 Cyclist*8
Darts Player Doctor Engine Driver*9
Fireman*10 Fisherman Footballer*11
Golfer*12 Guitarist Jogger*13
Lollipopman*14 Milkman Motorcyclist*15
Mountie*16 Nurse*17 Policeman*18
Postman*19 Racing Car Driver No. 23 Sailor
Skier*20 Snooker Player Standard
Tennis Player*21

The variations can be compared side by side

*1 Blue or white buttons on chest pockets.
*2 Blue or gold between legs.
*3 White or blue suit. The blue astronaut is much rarer.
*4 With White Patches and Brown Patches.
*5 With and without bubble coating, celebrates Robertson's 50 Golden Years 1930 – 1980.
*6 Closed circles (complete) or open circles (incomplete) around the rim of the hat. The open circles can be very open.
*7 Large Ball or Small Ball.
*8 With and without bubble coating.
*9 All yellow coupling or yellow/green coupling.
*10 Fire hose flush with body or protruding. The modification was made for safety.
*11 Black pointed or rounded boots or with white rounded boots.
*12 Yellow club, white club or a metal club.
*13 Pointed or square foot.
*14 Shorter or Longer Pole.
*15 Dark blue windscreen or light blue windscreen plus shades in between.
*16 Dark Hat Mountie or Light Hat Mountie.
*17 Light blue uniform or dark blue uniform.
*18 With or without the helment tip protruding.
*19 Red/blue pocket or all red pocket.
*20 Like the 1980's fruits, many of the badges released at the beginning of the 80's had a bubble coating. Those released later in the 80's did not.
*21 2 white spaces or 3 white spaces at the top of the racket.

Backstamps: Some available with no backstamp, some with a single backstamp and some designs available in both.

John Perrott has written a very scholarly article on Periods Of Issue and Relative Scarcity of 1980s brooches.

1980s Specials
HMS Crichton Golly Club Lifeboatman
Bank it*1 Cystic Fibrosis*2

*1Bottle bank promotion featuring the genie Ali Jamja
*2Limited edition of 2000

Backstamps: Bank It has no backstamp.

1985 '1940s Boxed Set' enamels
Standard Footballer Golfer
Guitarist Hockey Tennis

The set was made available in a presentation box.

Backstamps: These should have REV Gomm and the year of issue – 1985, stamped on the back.

Viota Cake Mix Baker Prizes in Silver and 9 carat Gold

In 1985 Viota Cake Mixes held a competition and the first prize was a gold Golly Statuette valued at 10,000 UK pounds back then. 250 runners up got 9 carat gold brooches in a presentation box. There are also some with diamonds in the spoon, some in silver and a silver fireman.

1988 Limited Edition Robertson Collector Fruits
Oranges with Scroll Lemons with Scroll .

Oranges available with yellow, white, red or blue scrolls.
Lemons available with blue or white scrolls.

Backstamps: This set have no backstamp.

1990s Acrylics (Smaller Eyes and more rounded feet)
American Footballer Astronaut*1 Baseball Player
Brownie Cricketer Doctor
Fireman Fisherman Footballer
Jockey Juggler Keep Fit
McGolly*2 Nurse Policeman*3
Racing Driver No. 1 Skateboarder Skier
Standard Surfer Tennis Player*4

*1Available with his eyes looking to the right and the left (the only brooch to do this).
*2Available with a black or white bobble and sporran. White is rarer.
*3Available with a white or blue shirt. Blue is rarer.
*4Available with a 2 blue sleeve end, 1 blue & 1 white sleeve end or 2 white sleeve ends. White sleeve ends are the most common.

Backstamps: Available with no backstamp and multiple backstamp pattern.

Father Christmas

Father Christmas (Promotion for Staff Only, 2400 Made)

Backstamps: Same multiple backstamp pattern as 1990s acrylics.

1992 Olympics set of four
Discus Gymnast Hurdler
Torch Bearer

A 6 mm bar at the bottom of each brooch says Barcelona 92

1993/94 Large Acrylics (Bubble Coated)
Air Hostess*1 Australian*2 Ballet Dancer*3
Chef*4 Cyclist*5 Footballer*6
French Golly*7 Juggler*8 Karate*9
Keep Fit*10 McGolly*11 Nurse*12
Pilot*13 Policeman*14 Racing Driver*15
Rugby Player*16 Skier*17 Standard
Surfer*18 Swimmer*19 Walker*20

Backstamps: At least two variations on each design exist corresponding with whether the backstamp is a [V]ertical or [H]orizontal pattern. The set was issued once in 1993 with the horizontal backstamp and then, following quality problems with the fastenings, it was re-issued in 1994 with a vertical backstamp. Several of the badges e.g. swimmer, pilot have the horizontal backstamp applied vertically. Note other than the orientation of the backstamp the size of the pattern is different. The odd one has also been found with no backstamp.

Many examples of this set show signs of the whites having started to yellow.

The variations can be compared side by side

*1 Orange reds [H] or deeper reds [H] also different bow [V].
*2 Open-toe sandals [V] and pink hat or with closed-toe sandals [H] and brown hat or with black under his hat [V].
*3 Larger Eyes/Mouth [H] or smaller eyes/mouth [V].
*4 Thin Chef [H] with dark spoon (hips 10mm) or Fat Chef [H] with light spoon (hips 12mm) or Chef with skinny legs [V]. Since both the fat and thin Chef are available with a horizontal backstamp, if you only have one of them it is difficult to tell which one it is. However, if you look at the two loops on the bow around the Chef's waist, if they are of equal size – then it is the thin chef; if one is distinctly bigger – then it is the fat chef. (Thanks to Mike Howell for the tip).
*5 Large Eyes [H] or Orange Jumper [V] or Small Eyes [V].
*6 White mouth/black football [H] or red mouth/blue football [V] or red mouth/black football [H].
*7 No knot in scarf [H] or knot in scarf [V].
*8 Smaller [V] or larger [H] eyes.
*9 Thick shoulder stripe [H] or thin shoulder stripe [V].
*10 Deeper pinks [V] or pastel pinks [H].
*11 Larger hat [V] or smaller hat [H] or Yellow shoulder [V].
*12 Green cross [V] and dark uniform or red cross [H] and light uniform.
*13 Green epaulettes [H] or red epaulettes [H].
*14 Larger star [V] or smaller star [H].
*15 No spoiler detail left of head [V], rear wheel detail, definition between helmet and head, wider car or Spoiler detail left of head [H], no wheel rear detail, no definition between helmet and head, narrower car.
*16 Broad Rugby Player [H] or Slim Rugby Player [H]. Slim Rugby Player with large [V] or small [H] eyes.
*17 Larger goggles [V] or smaller goggles [H].
*18 Dark waves [V] or light waves [H].
*19 One wave pattern [H] or a slightly different wave pattern[V] – e.g. white as opposed to blue top wave .
*20 Green Boots [H] or Brown & Green Boots [V]. Note also the difference in colours between the bottom section of the Walker's back pack.

1994 New Golly Collectors Club

25mm circular (approved by Robertson's)

31st May to 1st November 1996 Limited Edition (Bubble Coated)
Baby Clown Flamenco
Mountie Pirate

Robertson's had been giving information that a new set was due for several months. However, when the issue of the new set was delayed, this set was bought out as interim measure until the full new set could be produced.

Backstamps: Multiple backstamp pattern without © symbol (as per 1996 set) and with © symbol/"xxxxx" pattern (same as the 1990 set).

November 1996 Range of 10
Artist*1 Cheerleader DIY
Eskimo*2 Ice Hockey Knight
Paperboy*3 Scarecrow Viking*4

The initial set was issued without a backstamp copyright symbol. If you ordered a set later on, the copyright symbol had been added.

*1The correct colouration has a paint brush with a red tip. A variation has been found with a brown paint tip.
*2The correct colouration has a spear with a
grey tip. Production errors resulted in a black spear tip around October 1998 and a brown spear tip around March 1999.
*3The newspaper boy has also been found with an all black newspaper as opposed to the standard grey newspaper. (Thanks to Mike Howell).
*4The correct colouration has a grey centre to the shield. Examples dating back to around the time the brooches were first issued (November 1996) have been found where the centre of the shield has not been painted and thus appears as metallic.
N.B. In three of the above variations, they occurred where grey was expected.

A standard, although not advertised anywhere, was being issued from 1998 onwards to accompany this set. However, it clearly was just a slight variation on the 1990 standard and did not match this set in anyway except that the pin fastening was reversed from 1990 to be consistent. It has also been mentioned by at least one collector that the metal under the clenched fist is a slightly different shape.

Backstamps: Multiple backstamp pattern without © symbol and with © symbol (same as the 1998 set).

May 1998 Range of 10
Basketballer Classic*1 Doctor*2
Golfer Goal-keeper Guitarist
Judge Saxophonist Singer

*1The Classic was added to the range around July, a couple of months after the initial set and was not promoted in the leaflets.
*2The Doctor has been found by one collector with a gold instead of red mouth. Robertson's confirm they have no more like this and this set is being phased out anyway. (Thanks to Darren Pope for the info).

May 1998 World Cup Brooch

World Cup Brooch Limited Edition (Only 5,000 made)

Issued in a black velour presentation box with the words Golly it's Good! on the inside of the lid

November 1998 Father Christmas

Father Christmas & Rudolph Special Edition (Only 10,000 made for the UK, 500 made for Australia).

In the UK, it was issued in a green velour presentation box with the words Have a Jolly Golly Christmas! on the inside of the lid. In Australia there was no presentation box. Some work has been done in determining which number badges were issued in Australia

October 1999 (Fancy Dress) Range of 12
Bride Brownie Caveman
Graduate Groom King
Mermaid Millennium Classic Queen
Roman*1 Scout Wizard

*1One collector has found the Roman with one yellow and one black wrist band. Another collector has found one with one yellow and one red.

April 2000 Silver Millennium Golly

Silver Millennium Golly 2000 (Limited edition of 2000).

Issued in a silver presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.

June 2000 Paisley Exhibition

Paisley Exhibition 2000 (Limited edition of 1000).

Issued with Robertson's approval by Jerry Loader to celebrate the opening of the Paisley Museum exhibition featuring some of his collection of Robertson's memorabilia. The brooch was issued in a 'World's Best' Presentation Box. The character depicted on the brooch is James Robertson.

July 2000 European Cup Football Special Edition Set
Belgium England France
Germany Holland Italy

A limited edition set of 5000. Issued in a gift box with a certificate of authenticity.

July 2000 Farmer

Farmer promoted only on a new range organic mincemeat.

November 2000 Gollympic Games
Rider Rower Weightlifter
Shot Putter Hurdler

A limited edition set of 2000. Issued in a leather bound presentation gift box.

The Gollympic case has been found with 2 shades – the lighter shade is rarer.
(Thanks to James Robertson & Sons)

March 2001 Historical Events From the 20th Century (Range of 10)
1900s 1910s 1920s*1
1930s 1940s 1950s
1960s 1970s 1980s

*1One collector has found the Explorer with one yellow and one black sleeve end.

The leaflet explained the relevance of each brooch.

1903 – Wright Brothers took their first flight
1912 – Total Eclipse of the Sun was visible
1922 – Tomb of Tutankhamen discovered
1932 – The London Philharmonic Orchestra was founded
1946 – The first casual shirt was adopted which was the Hawaiian shirt
1953 – Structure of DNA discovered
1969 – 400,000 people attended the Woodstock Festival
1970 – Spacehopper was born
1981 – First London Marathon was run with 7,055 competitors
1993 – Grand National was abandoned after two false starts

May 2001 Golly's Diary 2001 Special Edition
Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Thursday Friday Saturday

Special Edition Set complete in leather bound presentation box with certificate of authenticity.
Only 3,000 sets were issued.

Based around the rhyme: –

Monday's Golly is fair of face,
Tuesday's Golly is full of grace,
Wednesday's Golly of full of woe,
Thursday's Golly has far to go,
Friday's Golly is loving and giving,
Saturday's Golly works hard for a living,
But the Golly who is born on the Sabbath day,
is fair and wise and good and gay!

November 2001 Gold Farewell Golly

5,000 Farewell Golly brooches to commemorate the 'retirement' of Golly. Each brooch is 9ct. gold plated and comes in a box with a certificate. Some work has been done in determining which number Gold Farewell badges were issued in Australia

November 2001 Children In Need

500 badges issued with Robertson's approval to help raise funds for the Children In Need 2001 appeal. It was part of a campaign named The Great Golly Giveaway which auctioned badges donated by collectors and gave the proceeds to the charity

January 2002 Silver Farewell Golly

3,000 Silver 'Farewell Golly' brooches to commemorate the 'retirement' of Golly. Each comes in a box with a certificate but the issue is not a limited edition (except to one per household).

April 2002 Leukaemia Research "Sara's Badge" – Still available from Sara's Badge Offer

Sara's Badge is available in a presentation box with certificate of authenticity.

Father Christmas

Father Christmas

In August 2002 850 were made available to collectors. The initial issue in the early 1990s was available to Staff only.

Backstamps: Same multiple backstamp pattern as 1990s acrylics.

From August 2001, Robertson's started issuing Roald Dahl badges.

S I T E    M A P
Golly Corner: Brooch Sets / revised May 2004
Photographs Copyright Liz Prigg © 1998–2009