Victoria’s Legacy

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Sentimental Things

I am completely enamored with this Victorian bracelet…  from end to end, it is filled with enchanting details.  The top and side edges are deeply etched with hand engraved patterns that feature a repetitive leaf-like design.  The center is accented with a small square stone of the palest blue surrounded by a carved quatrefoil flower.  

And the back portion reveals the most significant engraving of all, the name of the owner…  “Patricia Finnell”.  As soon as I discovered her name, I wanted to know all about her.  Alas, no matter how many times or ways I googled her name, Patricia Finnell remains a mystery to me.  Closer inspection unveiled another enigma, the center octagon is actually a locket!  

Lockets peaked in popularity during the mid-1800s after Prince Albert gifted Queen Victoria with one at the birth of their first child.  He presented her with a similar charm at each new birth, resulting in a lovely bracelet with nine brightly colored enamel heart lockets…  each one featured a delicate curl of hair as well as the name and birth date of the child.  So romantic!  As such, locket jewelry became the “must have” accessory of the Victorian era.  

Look what (or should I say who!) I discovered inside our bracelet…

This handsome devil must be our Patricia’s sweetheart, and most likely the one who presented her with this sentimental love token.  Perhaps he was going off to war and wanted to leave her with a memento in case he didn’t return.  Or perhaps theirs was a secret love and only Patricia would know that his picture was hidden inside.  I can’t decide if I want to know the answers or if it’s more fun to dream up tragically romantic scenarios!  

Perchance someone out there can shed some light on this puzzle, or maybe it’s destined to remain a secret with the only clue being this bracelet.  My husband would say that I’ve read one too many romance novels, but I can’t help but be infatuated with this 150-year-old love story.  If you, too, are enchanted, you could become the caretaker of Patricia and her locket bracelet for just $1,450.  

“You can go to a museum and look, or come to Joden and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

Some Like It Scot

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Scottish Things

About fifteen years ago, I read a book called “Outlander” – written by Diana Gabaldon.  (I highly recommend it to any and all!)  It changed my life.  Not only did I fall in love with the series, but I also fell in love with all things Scottish – naturally, that included the jewelry.

Most of the Scottish pieces that we have at Joden are brooches, like the one pictured below.

mini-dirk-brooch

This type of jewelry is often referred to as “Scottish Pebble Jewelry” – dubbed as such by Queen Victoria.  She and Prince Albert visited Scotland for the first time in 1842.  They were enchanted by the beautiful country.  After returning home, Victoria began gifting friends and family alike with tartans and Highland style gifts – primarily jewelry.  Most of this jewelry was constructed of intricately carved sterling silver set with the pebbles of Scotland…  also known as Agate.  These colorful stones were precisely fitted to the jewels made in the shape of Celtic knots, shields, crests, and dirks.

This (pictured below) is a silver agate Dirk brooch.  It was designed after a traditional dagger and sheath, and actually gives the appearance of three blades, each one accented on its hilt with a faceted round citrine.  The remainder of this piece is set with Bloodstone, Red Jasper, and Montrose Lace – all forms of agate, or Scottish Pebbles.  Circa 1890.

dirk-brooch-2

Another notable piece at Joden is this vintage Cloak pin (shown below).  The head of each pin is perfectly assembled from six different colors of carved and polished agate.  The two pins are then connected by a series of ten octagonal pieces of agate.  Its and explosion of color and texture.  Circa 1880.

cloak-pin

Due to the huge demand, English jewelers began making pieces in the same style.  Initially, they stayed true to the Scottish motif, but over time, the jewelry began to take on a distinctly English feel.  The agate that was originally from Scotland was replaced with stones from other areas.  And while the spirit of the jewelry remained largely the same, the quality waned.  Pieces produced after WWII (like the ones pictured below), while lovely, do not exhibit the craftsmanship of the ones made during the Victorian era.

two-brooches

So, if you’re an Outlander fan like me, or if you love Scottish Pebble jewelry, come visit us at Joden.

“You can go to a museum and look, or you can come to us and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Carla Leight

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