Scottish Silver and Agate Belt Bracelet

$850.00
About Details History

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1852.  The royal family spent a great deal of time at their Scottish estate and took to wearing the Royal Stuart plaid to special events.  To accent her new northern attire, Victoria began collecting Scottish jewelry. Typically made in silver, Victorian-era Scottish jewelry combines Celtic and natural motifs - like the famous highland thistle - with stones native to the region: malachite, agate, and cairngorm. This c. 1880 sterling belt bracelet is a piece of the Scottish jewelry made so fashionable by the trendsetting, tartan-clad queen. Each hinged link is made of carved agate ranging in color from white to brown to black.

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    • Materials: sterling silver (oxidized slightly with age), agate.  
    • Age: c. 1880s
    • Condition:  Good.  Some old repairs can be seen on the inside of the silver hinges.  Agate has no chips.  
    • Size: the bracelet fastens just a like a belt, so the length can be adjusted between 7" and 8".
    • Location: To see this piece in person, visit our shop in Nolita, New York. 
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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About Details History

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1852.  The royal family spent a great deal of time at their Scottish estate and took to wearing the Royal Stuart plaid to special events.  To accent her new northern attire, Victoria began collecting Scottish jewelry. Typically made in silver, Victorian-era Scottish jewelry combines Celtic and natural motifs - like the famous highland thistle - with stones native to the region: malachite, agate, and cairngorm. This c. 1880 sterling belt bracelet is a piece of the Scottish jewelry made so fashionable by the trendsetting, tartan-clad queen. Each hinged link is made of carved agate ranging in color from white to brown to black.

less
more

    • Materials: sterling silver (oxidized slightly with age), agate.  
    • Age: c. 1880s
    • Condition:  Good.  Some old repairs can be seen on the inside of the silver hinges.  Agate has no chips.  
    • Size: the bracelet fastens just a like a belt, so the length can be adjusted between 7" and 8".
    • Location: To see this piece in person, visit our shop in Nolita, New York. 
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more