During her long reign Queen Victoria set the fashion by wearing jewelry fashioned from stones and agates that were found in her beloved Scotland. And with her purchase in 1847 of her Scottish castle, Balmoral, the popularity of all things Scottish soared. This jewelry was often called “Scotch pebble jewelry” because the stones were often found as pebbles in rivers and along their banks. Later, jewelers also used stones from Germany.
This fabulous piece of Scottish agate jewelry, which dates back to around 1880, has all the earmarks of a talented and gifted designer. This bracelet has a lot of detail in the silverwork itself, and although it is not marked, I have tested it and it is silver. (Many similar bracelets and other pieces of Scottish agate jewelry of the time were fashioned with unmarked silver.)
This finely crafted silver and agate bracelet has a pretty mix of bloodstone, carnelian, banded agates and other hardstones. The stones are cut in an octagonal baton-shaped style with links capped with engraved silver. The bracelet comes with its original carnelian set heart-shaped clasp with a locket back displaying a plaited hair rondel. The back side of the silver-encased heart is lavishly engraved, as are the deep sides of the locket.
There is a small safety chain to keep the bracelet on in case the lock should fail. There is an old piece of original glass that is set in the round in order to view the plated hair. The links of the bracelet are done in a chain-like fashion to separate and display more prominently each piece of agate.
It is in superb condition, especially considering its age and use. The heart-shaped locket is a very charming addition to an already exquisite and showy bracelet. The colors of the agate would go with most types of fashion clothing, as well as just blue jeans and a sweater. It is a wonderfully pretty piece of Scottish jewelry that belongs in anyone’s antique jewelry collection.
This piece is about 8-3/4 inches in circumference with the locket closed. The locket measures 1-1/4 inches long and about 7/8 inches wide.
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