Grace Darling lived in a lighthouse with her family, as her father was the keeper of the light on Longstone Island, off the Northumberland Coast. In 1838, when she was 22, she spotted the shipwreck of the Forfarshire and saw that it had split in half on a nearby low-lying rocky island. It was early in the morning, before the sun had risen, and the weather was not cooperating. Grace and her father had to row over a mile each way, on multiple trips, to rescue the nine survivors. By daybreak, the entire ship had sunk. Grace and her father became celebrities for their efforts and skills. What better way to commemorate a story like this than with a rowboat brooch?
This antique Victorian boat brooch pin was handcrafted in Birmingham, England in 1881. The name, “MABEL” can be found on the front of the brooch with a boat charm dangling from below, swaying as if it’s floating on the water. It measures 59 x 26.5 mm and weighs 5.1 grams. It has been fully hallmarked and bears the lion mark for English sterling silver, the anchor mark for Birmingham, and the date letter, “g”.
Maybe Mabel was the name of a survivor? Maybe it’s just a pretty name attached to a symbolic rowboat. Either way, this precious pin belongs in your jewelry box.
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