SCOTTISH AGATES AND SCOTTISH AGATE JEWELLERY
AND
ENGLISH AGATE AND MARBLE JEWELLERY
By
Jennifer Carnell

I've been interested in Scottish agates and Victorian Scottish pebble jewellery ever since I inherited my Scottish grandmother's bracelet.

Rodger Family Bracelet.

It was probably made in the 1850s and had belonged to Mary Bruce Rodger's family who, during the Victorian period, lived in Edinburgh on her father's side and Greenock and Peterhead on her mother's. However, the bracelet came from the more affluent Edinburgh side of the family. Mounted in silver, and backed with stone or granite, it includes a variety of agates and has a matching padlock.

An early Scottish Burn Anne agate brooch dating from the Georgian period. It was probably made in the 1790s or even earlier.

An 1840s Scottish agate brooch with a silver back made by an Edinburgh jeweller.

An 1850s ambrotype photograph of a young woman wearing a Scottish agate garter brooch.

A close-up of the distinctive shape of the brooch.

A Scottish pebble brooch with stones including jasper and Burn Anne. Like many Scottish brooches it is mounted in silver and backed with slate.

The shape of setting for this brooch was a common design and was used throughout the Victorian period to display a wide variety of stones.

An Indian lady in England wearing a similar agate brooch. This is an ambrotype taken in the late 1850s.

A close-up of the brooch in the ambrotype.

A photograph of Mrs. Pringle, taken in Mysore in India in 1858, wearing two Scottish agate bracelets.

A close-up showing the two bracelets.

A photograph of Mrs. Robinson, taken in Mysore in India in 1858, wearing a Scottish agate bracelet.

A closeup of Mrs. Robinson's bracelet.

A large pastel portrait of a lady wearing an agate brooch. Signed H. Wilkin, it was painted in 1846 by pastel and miniature artist Henry Wilkin at 20 Newman Street in London.

A close-up of the lady's brooch in the painting.

A gold Scottish agate brooch with montrose, Burn Anne, green jasper and red jasper.

A carte de visite of a woman in London wearing a Scottish agate brooch in 1860 or 1861.

A close-up of her brooch.

A carte de visite of a teenage girl called Mary wearing a Scottish agate brooch, taken in about 1861.

Mary's Scottish agate brooch, worn at the neck.

An early photograph from about 1850 showing a woman wearing a brooch made of a single agate mounted in gold or gold plate with gold earrings and necklace.

A close-up of the agate sample.

A Scottish agate brooch by G. & M. Crichton of Princes Street, Edinburgh.

Scottish Agates Bibliography:
Nick Crawford, Scottish Pebble Jewellery: Its History and the Materials from Which it Was Made (Lapidary Stone Publications, 2007).
Nick Crawford and David Anderson Scottish Agates (Lapidary Stone Publications, 2010).
H.G. Macpherson, Agates (NMSE, 1989).

ENGLISH AGATE, DEVON MARBLE AND TORQUAY MARBLE JEWELLERY

Victorian agate and hardstone jewellery was not only made in Scotland. Often mistaken for Scottish workmanship, jewellery was also made in Devon, Cornwall and Derbyshire.
The materials used included Devon fossils, Ashford marble from Derbyshire, Devon marbles, imported malachite and other regional marbles and hardstones.

This is an example of a hardstone, Devon marble and fossil brooch, and was made in Torquay.
One distinctive feature in Devon marble jewellery is the use of fossils, including fossilised coral.

Malachite, Ashford marble and Devon fossils.
The Devon pieces were made for a shorter period than Scottish pebble jewellery, paperweights, rulers, thermometers, tables and other large items were also produced.

To see more examples of Devon marble pieces click here.

 

A Cotham marble brooch from Bristol in Somerset.
Cotham Picture Marble is also known as Landscape Marble.

A Cornish serpentine brooch from Cornwall.

 

Click here to see more Torquay and Devon Marble Jewellery & Other Items

 

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