This very special antique Scottish agate sterling silver dirk, is circa 1860. I have collected and appreciated the artistry of Scottish jewelry for over 30 years and when an item such as this appears it renews my passion. It was found oddly enough in a small shop in Paris, where I stopped in front of a window display over over 100 pieces of the finest antique tartan ware. Intrigued, I entered the shop and began speaking to the owner. She explained, she had purchased this very large collection from an elderly woman who had collected Scottish tartan ware for 50 years. Among the objects was one piece of jewelry, this strikingly beautiful brooch. For me, it was a magical moment.
This brooch is in the form of a dirk. The dirk is of course a
weapon, and Scottish jewelers replicated the form to be used as a piece of jewelry. It was originally used by men to secure their kilts. Unusually bold, it measures over 4 5/8 inches long. It has faceted, thistle shaped, pale smoky quartz complementing the traditional jasper and bloodstone agates. The silver work, as expected,is superior, as is the hand engraving . It is completely original, in excellent condition and retains a beautiful patina.
Today, these brooches are enjoyed by women who wear them as unique accents on paisley scarves, sweaters and coats.
Bold and beautiful, Scotland, circa 1860
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Unique Antique Jewelry Through the Centuries
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