Welcome to my Golly Site where you can find most of my Robertson's Golly Brooches and some from the post-Robertson's era.  Manufactured by many different companies, the majority of the badges on my site have been produced by James Robertson & Sons.
If you have a badge you can't find here and would like some more information about it then please e-mail me.

Click on the Golly images to see each set in more detail - I hope you'll enjoy my collection of Gollies in all their finery!


 -The Golly Timeline -

The Pre-War Era

The first Gollies from Robertsons were available during the 1920's with these pre-war designs including Fruits, Golfers, Tennis and Hockey Players and a Coronation Golly for George VI's ascension to the throne.  The most ubiquitous designs though were the cricketers and footballers.

 

Pre-War Cricketers:
The pre-war Cricketing Gollies are highly sought after and quite rare.  They were manufactured by 3 companies - Miller, Graham and Melsom.  All have yellow waistcoats with the lettering 'Golden Shred' on them.  The Miller brooches have team names appearing on a banner on which the golly is standing.  All have 'pop' eyes (centrally placed) which is one way to distinguish them from the repros listed near the bottom of this page.
Pre-War Footballers:
As with their Cricketing counterparts the pre-war Footballing Gollies are also very sought after items.  They were also manufactured by 3 different companies - Miller, Greens and Melsom.  There are a number of varieties each having different, bi-coloured, footballs.  As with the cricketers reproductions can be picked up at a fraction of the cost of the originals.
Pre-War Fruits:
The first Fruit Brooches produced by Robertson's are probably their best, they certainly fetch the highest prices, but then that reflects their rarity.  The Miller Company of Birmingham made 5 different designs, each having a little Golly face peering through or around the fruit.  This resulted in 6 different badges (the Raspberry and Bramble badges had the same design but with different coloured fruits).  The main variation with these badges is the stamping on the back.  Each badge had the manufacturer's mark on the back but on earlier versions, a Registration Number can also be found (a different one for each badge).  So, 12 different ones to collect!

The Post-War Era Begins

 

The White Waistcoat Enamel Series:
The White Waistcoated Gollies were produced from the early 1950's through to the late 1970's.  During their later years they were available concurrently with the yellow waistcoated 1970's series.  These are the first brooches I collected in the 1960's and to me are the quintessential Gollies. Robertson's used a number of different brooch manufacturers over the years this series was available, and with quality control not being what it is today, there were a number of variations from each manufacturer.  At present I have 17 different Standard Gollies and I have something in excess of 30 left to collect!.  In all there is something like 180 varieties derived from the 11 basic designs in this series and although many of the variations are difficult to spot, many are also quite visible making for interesting talking points when showing off your collection (assuming of course you can find someone interested enough to show it off to!?!)

1960 Pro-pat Designs:
A couple of quirky experimental badges from the Miller Company.  So-called due to the stamping on the backs of the badges. Click on the graphic for some detail of the design process.

1970's Enamel Series:
Early in the 1970's Robertson's made some changes to their range of Golly brooches.  The waistcoats changed colour to a nice bright yellow and lost their "Golden Shred" wording.  Also, Golly's nice round head became crinkly which displayed the curly hair better.  Additionally 2 extra designs became available; a Motorcyclist and a Skateboarder.  Although a basic set of 13 different designs, the discerning Golly Collector can find a number of varieties as 3 different manufacturers were used (not all of the manufacturers produced the full set) and the commonest manufacturer (Gomm's of Birmingham) produced 2 slightly differing backstamps.  And.... there are some genuine Robertson's badges without a backstamp at all which adds to the fun trying to sort them from the numerous fakes from this era!

1980's Acrylic Series:
During the 1980's Robertson's departed from their previous Golly style and brought in a much wider range. They also changed the material from which the brooch colourings were made from enamel to acrylic. The new brooches began with a set of 5 fruits but the subsequent gollies were now generally dressed in the clothing of the character they were portraying and very few had the traditional blue jacket, red trousers and yellow shirts. There was also a much wider range available, with the early badges having a lovely plastic layer over the acrylic, known as a 'bubble coating', which made them look and feel very superior.

1980's Specials:
During the 1980's several 'specials' were issued by Robertson's to promote various organizations etc. The 'Bank It' brooch featured a genie named Ali Jamja and was a bottle bank promotion; the 'Cystic Fibrosis' brooch was limited to 2,000; and the 'Lifeboatman' had a superior enamel coating.  The crewmembers of HMS Crichton, a Royal Navy Minesweeper, were each presented with a specially designed badge as they adopted Golly as their mascot - these badges were never made available to the public and perhaps as few as 50 were produced. Also, it was the 1980's that saw Robertson's initiate a short lived Collector's Club and produce a very attractive badge for the members.

1985 "1940's Brooch Collection":
In 1985 Robertson's decided that a bit of nostalgia wouldn't go amiss and issued a boxed set of 6 brooches in the 1940's style (also extremely similar to the 1950-60's series).  All 6 were produced by the REV Gomm Company of Birmingham and are very good 'repros', the Guitarist in particular really does need a close inspection to tell it apart from it's earlier cousin. Of course if you look at the back it's easier to tell them apart, these Gollies have '1985' stamped on them!  There are varieties amongst the brooches to look out for and also there is different lettering on the presentation boxes.

Early 1990's Acrylic Series:
The first of the 1990's series saw many new Gollies although one or two are quite similar to their 1980's counterparts.  There are a few variations of which the most striking (I think) is the Astronaut which comes in eyes right and eyes left versions - the eyes right is the only Golly Robertson's ever produced looking in this direction and commands a hefty premium; the McGolly comes with different coloured sporans; the Policeman has either a blue or white shirt; the Brownie comes with either a brown or a yellow belt and they all come in versions with and without the Robertson's backstamp - as with most Golly badges, there are lots of varieties to look out for.

1992 Olympics Set:
The 1992 Olympic games in Spain was excuse enough for another 1990's special set. Not a very pretty sight, in fact, pretty ugly!

1993 Christmas Special:
Having asked Robertson's for the year this Santa first flew, 1993 was the best guess.  He was supposed to have been a limited edition of 2,400 for issue to Robertson's staff, but he pops up quite regularly so the concensus is that there's a few more than that in circulation!  This has now been verified by Robertson's 'finding' some 800-900 of these badges in a 'drawer' in 2002!  They sold them for 10 and weren't taking orders for long before selling out.

1993/94 Acrylic Series (Bubble Coated):
This set of 21 Gollies departed from the norm in their size - they are HUGE (well not that big). Oh, they're also the first series to have the plastic 'Bubble Coating' over the acrylic (previously reserved for some special issues only). There are quite a few variations to keep an eye out for and they don't cost an arm and a leg. Look out also for the backstamps - 2 manufacturers were used, the first (1993) produced their badges with horizontal backstamp and the second (1994) produced them with a vertical backstamp.  There are also several different variations to the colours used and a few of the badges have nothing stamped on the back.

1996 Acrylic Special Set:
This set of 5 has a beautiful Bubble Coating which really is smooth. I don't know if they were issued for any special reason but although they can be found without too much difficulty they have a price which reflects the  special edition that they were. Look out also for at least 2 different backstamps to this set.

1996 Acrylic Set:
The 1990's were quite a prolific time for Gollies with more different sets issued than any other decade. I personally thought this set was the low point in Robertson's history of Golly issuing (with the exception of those Olympic duds), a rather pathetic range that had none of the Gollies displaying their distinctive red, blue and yellow colours - although the Paper Boy comes close. Again there are 2 different backstamps and several of the badges come in 2 or more variations.

1998 World Cup Special:
To celebrate the 1998 World Football Cup Robertson's decided to issue a special edition Golly in a very nice black velour presentation box. This one came it at 5 with no Golly tokens needed. It was limited to just 5,000 copies and is a sought after item!

1998 Acrylic Set:
With the 1998 set Robertson's have well and truly returned to the traditional Golly. All 10 brooches have the distinctive clothing no matter what their character.  Well done Jim - and Jim Jnrs, a good bit of return to tradition!

1998 Christmas Special:
Hard on the heels of the World Cup special comes another limited edition Golly.  The second Christmas Golly to be issued by Robertson's is stamped on the back with its own serial number (from 1 - 10,000) and comes in a lovely green velvet(ish) case. It came in at a hefty 7 but no Golly tokens were required!

1999 Fancy Dress Acrylic Set:
This series became available in October 1999.

2000 The Millennium's Finest:
This Silver Golly pin badge was available from Robertson's for a very short period in April/May 2000.  It was produced in a limited edition of just 2000.  They went for a hefty 25 each, again with no tokens required.  It was presented in a very smart silver box with a certificate of authenticity.

The Paisley Golly Badge:
From July to September 2000 an exhibition of Golly items was held in Paisley Museum, Scotland.  Robertson's were approached and gave their permission for a special Golly brooch to be produced to commemorate the event.  The badges were sold for 5 each and the production run was limited to 1000.

Euro 2000 Football Competition
Hmmmmm... What can we say about these.... not a lot Jim!
2000 Organic Farmer
Produced to promote Robertson's range of Organic products.
2000 The Gollympics:
A very nice set produced with Robertson's usual punctuality - NOT!  By the time these brooches were available the Olympic Games was over - we seem to be making a habit of getting our Golly production geared up a little late, don't we James!  Smart set though and an extremely Gucci case (especially after the abysmal plastic thing the Euro 2000 Footballers came in!).  Having said that though I'd much rather pay less and just get the brooches.  This little lot would have set you back 30 when obtained from Robertson's, a not inconsiderable sum of lolly!

2001 Historic Moments:
A nice set of 10 brooches each depicting a moment in history from the decades of the 20th century.

2001 Golly Diary:
A stunning set of 7 brooches with the "Days of the Week" theme.  This was to be the last set of Golly brooches produced by Robertson's.


For all the latest Golly news and an excellent all round Golly Site visit:

Liz Prigg's Golly Corner

or

Andrew Davis's The Golly Club site

To meet and chat to other like-minded Golly people join the Yahoo Golly Badge Club

If you're looking foe new Golly badges to buy then the following sites are worth visiting:

Peter Wood's Hugobian Site

Simon(aka scbowes)'s Golly Site

- Links to other pages of interest -

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Site last updated: 19/01/07