This bold sterling silver, Scottish agate brooch is circa 1880. It is a traditional design called a penannular, or split ring, and was used to adorn the tartans. Queen Victoria's love of Balmoral Castle, and the traditions of its people was equally matched by the enthusiasm of the populace. If the Queen wore Scottish jewelry, so did the people. Thus, the industry grew and some wonderful jewelry was created.
This particular example has a beautiful faceted citrine in the form of a thistle with contrasting stones of faceted paste, all set closed back and foiled. The foiling was used to enhance the reflection of light and created a distinctive hue. The colors of the agates are especially beautiful and set almost seamlessly one to the other.
This form of Scottish agate jewelry is one of my favorites, as this ancient design has a modern aesthetic. It is easily worn on sweaters, capes, and jackets and is the perfect complement to winter woolens. It is also a striking accent on houndstooth and checkered patterns. Examples of this form can be seen in the Grundy exhibit at the British Museum This pin measures 2 3/8 inches with the faceted top X 2 1/8 measuring just the split ring. The reverse is beautifully engraved with a thistle and Celtic lettering. The condition is excellent.
Timeless beauty,Scotland, circa 1860
+++ Please note that all items listed as silver or gold are either marked, in which case there will be a photo of the mark, or have been acid tested by me to determine the metal content