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. British examples of this sweeping fashion are to be seen in the novel written by Elizabeth Gaskell. In her novel, “Cranford” (1851), set in the Cheshire village of Knutsford, one of the characters, Miss Pole, was wearing no less than seven pebble brooches. (I’ll be watching for this myself the next time I view the BBC television production of “Cranford.”) This jewelry was often called “Scotch pebble jewelry” because the stones were often found as pebbles in rivers and along their banks.
This pretty piece of hlghly-polished banded agate is earth-colored, with its deep browns and grays in a striated pattern. It is set in a gold pinch-beck frame, which is quite pretty with its ruffle-like appearance. (Pinch-beck is an alloy made of copper and zinc to replicate gold in jewelry.) This striking agate brooch dates from the early 20th century.
It is in good condition for its age of some 100 years. The hinge is tight and the pin itself fits well into its clasp.
It measures 1-7/8 inches wide by 1-1/2 inches high.
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