Evoking the colours and textures of the wild and craggy Scottish highland landscape this wonderful Victorian silver brooch is dated 1867 and set with four different slices of Scottish agate. The agates are in lovely earthy tones and include bloodstone, carnelian, banded Montrose blue and a red jasper.
The brooch is fashioned in a quatrefoil and a saltire cross motif. Quatrefoil literally means "four leaves", it is a four lobe clover like motif used extensively in Celtic symbolism, church architecture and heraldry and is thought to bestow good luck. The saltire cross, also known as St. Andrews Cross is the symbol used on Scotland's national flag. The brooch is beautifully hand engraved in a cross pattern in between the agates.
The back is stamped with the Victorian 'lozenge' mark that was used between 1842 and 1883 to certify the design patent. The lozenge identifies the day, month and year of registration with the British Patent Office. The lozenge mark on this brooch dates it to 21st January 1867 exactly!
Cosmetically the front the brooch is just beautiful, a little surface wear, some light tarnish and minor nibbles to the very edge of the banded blue agate. The reverse is in fairly rough shape but fully functioning, there are old soldered repairs to the hinge and clasp with general wear and tear to the silver like overall scratches and several small dings. We have taken this into account when pricing, please inspect the photos.
A classic and affordable piece of Victorian Scottish jewellery, steeped in spiritual and patriotic symbolism. These genuinely old Scottish brooches are becoming harder and harder to find. They were the height of fashion when Queen Victoria purchased Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1852, she set off a "Scottish Pebble" craze which meant the jewellery quickly became highly collectable and it still remains that way today!
MATERIALS: sterling silver, acid tested
GEMSTONES: natural Scottish agates
MARKS: stamped on the back with the British registration lozenge mark
MEASUREMENTS: 2" (5cm) wide, 1-1/2" (4cm) tall
WEIGHT: 12.5 grams
ERA: Victorian circa 1860 (dated 1867)
At Mercy Madge we offer antique and vintage jewellery that is special and each piece is hand selected by us for you. We rarely come across two identical old treasures, once they are gone, they are truly gone!
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Materials: Sterling Silver, Scottish Agates.