This is a fabulous antique Scottish brooch - it is made from sterling silver and is set with a shaped halo of Scottish agates.
This lovely piece dates to the 1850s (early in the reign of Queen Victoria) - as annotated by the date inscription on the reverse - it is now 170 years old and in fantastic condition for its age.
The agates are set in a thick raised band of silver - you can see the depth of the silver through the hole in the centre in my images. Around the central hole is a selection of different shades of grey Scottish Montrose agates. A grey brooch for pinning a pale-coloured cashmere scarf or wee shawl in place - or for wearing on a pale grey sweater - will always catch the eye and have admiring glances.
There are a total of 8 shell-shaped agates making up the brooch and seen together the brooch looks like a little daisy head.
It has a nice sturdy pin on the back - which closed with an antique c-scroll fitting - there is also a little loop at the top so that you could also add a chain to the brooch if you wish to
As noted, the brooch is in a remarkable condition for its age - with no chips or cracks - and no dents to the silver. The brooch is not hallmarked (a lot of old Scottish Victorian silver is not) but it is definitely sterling silver - and it is easy for me to date this piece as it has a little fine inscription on the reverse which reads: Jessie Brown 7th Octr 1858. So a wee bit of history goes with this fine Scottish brooch.
Dimensions: Diameter is 4 cm. The depth is about 1 cm. The internal hole is 1.5 cm in diameter.
HISTORY: Scottish Agate or Pebble Jewellery was made popular by Queen Victoria.
At Balmoral Castle (the rule couple's Highland home), Prince Albert found some pebbles on the banks of the River Dee and had them polished and made into Jewellery for Victoria. When the London papers reported that the couple were wearing "polished pebble brooches made from local stones" it set a trend for Scottish agate jewellery that would last for decades. Scottish Jewellers could not keep up with demand when at its height and manufacture spread to Birmingham, London and even Europe.