Victorian Scottish Agate Citrine Amethyst Brooch Pin Pendant

In Scotland, the thistle is the national symbol, it stands for pain, protection, and pride. There is a legend that is based in the 13th century in which the Norse King’s soldiers invade a Scottish Coastal town. This Viking King plotted to sneak slyly in on the Scottish Clansmen and Highlanders, while they slept. They chose to go barefoot. One of the soldiers stepped on a native thistle and cried out in pain. His scream was so loud it woke the Scots and thus the battle began prematurely, leaving the Scots victorious. How factual this myth is, is up to interpretation; but around this time period, the thistle became a symbol of national pride in Scotland.

This wonderful Scottish brooch is set with an array of richly colored agates in shades of reds, yellows, oranges and grays which form a traditional Garter motif. The center of the brooch features a detailed silver thistle with one Amethyst and two Citrine faceted thistle flowers. This early example of Scottish jewelry was probably made around 1850-1860 and it has a small clip at the top, probably meant to hold a safety chain originally, it can now be used to hang this large brooch on a sturdy chain. The back of this piece is engraved with the initials EW in curvy script. There is a small repair to the back where a new ‘C’ clasp was put on. The brooch measures 60.3 mm north to south and 51 mm across and it weighs 31.4 grams. There are no hallmarks and we’ve tested it as sterling silver.

When the Castle at Balmoral was completed in 1856, the entourage of the Royal family flocked to Scotland. They dressed themselves in tartans and plaids, pinned with brooches set with agates, amethysts and citrines, brooches like this magnificent beauty.

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Item ID: BHA21884VA

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