This antique Scottish agate brooch is most unusual. It is a beautiful piece of jewelry fashioned as a dirk, which is a weapon. Scottish agate jewelry became highly fashionable following Queen Victoria's frequent visits to Balmoral castle with her family. She and her children would dress in tartans and the populace had a renewed interest in all things Scottish.
The tartans were adorned with distinctive jewelry and this kilt pin is a fine example. As the demand for this jewelry grew, production was added in England, most in Birmingham. The agates were Scottish,but the labor was English. The use of the Registration Mark or "kite mark" on the reverse attests to English manufacture and enables us to know the day,month and year of manufacture. This dirk was made on September 9, 1859. How wonderful to have this additional piece of history.
The distinctive design of this dirk is the use of a grill over the top cabachon agate. Rarely found, it is a lovely detail. The choice of colors in the stones are subtle and mellow. The crystals are foil back and are a perfect complement to the agates. The sterling is beautifully hand engraved and the brooch is entirely original. It measures 3 3/4 inches long x 1/2 inches wide. You need not wear a kilt to enjoy this very special pin! It looks beautiful on a blazer,coat,shawl ot hat. There are two small indentations in the silver on the back of the top stone and one or two pin point dots, all commensurate with age and use and are not seen when worn. Unique,circa 1859...