I love Agate brooches and this is such a nice example of an early Victorian one.
A lovely mixture of browns and toffee colours with bands of white running through it. It is set in a real silver frame that is decorated with a rope twist.
There is a small natural fissure to the rear of this piece on what I call an "Oyster" at the right. It comes through slightly to the front but this is difficult to see or even feel. It is completely stable and I would guess this has been there since it was manufactured.
It's a genuine Victorian piece and there have been no repairs, solders etc.
There are no makers or marks on this piece but it tests as silver
Size is: just over 1 1/2” (4cm) x just 1 1/4 ” (3cm)
Scottish Agate or Pebble Jewellery was made popular by Queen Victoria. When she travelled to the Highlands with Prince Albert she fell in love with the dramatic landscape and went on to purchase Balmoral, the rest as they say is history. This love extended to all things Scottish and when the London papers reported that the couple were wearing “polished pebble brooches made from local stones” it set a trend that would last for decades and even spread to Europe.
Written 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 where one of the characters – Miss Pole was wearing no less than 7 Scottish pebble brooches!
*Indicated by the extended pin (where the pin extends beyond the boundary of the brooch which was to allow the thicker Victorian fabrics to be pinned
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