Antique Scottish Agate Brooch
HRS Queen Victoria loved Scotland and she became enamored with the jewelry made by the locals using colorful stones and minerals common to the Scottish highlands. This soon became a home-grown cottage industry of souvenirs for the “fashionable” travelers who followed in the shadow of the Queen.
This Victorian brooch is a scarce example of meticulously crafted inlay work. Sections of coveted Montrose agate have been carved with a scalloped perimeter. Between each section curves of brick colored agate with flecks of ocher, have been inset to resemble the petals of a stylized floral design. A slate (or similar stone) backing serves as a foundation for the stones. The color contrast between the two types of agate is quite striking, as is the banding. Flipped over, the piece reveals an annular silver fitting with its original hinge pin and clasp. Silver clips secure the stones to the fitting.
Condition: Excellent; a bit of patina to the silver reverse.
Hallmarks: Scratched into the reverse “J/M” which is possibly the initials of the artist or firm.
Measurements: More than 2 inches (5.2 cm) at the widest; 1-3/4 inches (4.3 cm) between the scallops. This antique brooch has a weight of 19.5 grams (12.5 dwt).
Date & Origin: Circa 1860 – 1870 and is Scottish in origin.
Overall Scale: Large