heart to heart

Antique heart brooch with rubies & diamonds, around 1890

At no other time did jewellery as a gift of love experience such popularity as in the 19th century. The messages encoded in symbols and jewels became ever more sophisticated, the design ever more allusive. The present brooch shows us the heart, probably the most obvious of the romantic symbols, but it expresses the intentions of the giver in an extremely complex way. The shape of the heart, slightly curved at the lower tip, was known in Victorian times as the "witch's heart", and derives from even far older amulets. Until the 17th century, the witch's heart, also known as the Luckenbooth in Scotland, was pinned to baby blankets to protect children from the evil eye. Since the 18th century, however, it has been used as a love offering: While one heart indicates that the giver has been "enchanted" by the recipient, two hearts indicate a longer-term commitment such as an engagement or marriage. The ribbon winding through the hearts, entwining them and binding them together, also supports this interpretation. At that time, ribbon and knot motifs stood for the indissolubility of both friendly and romantic ties. This message is reinforced by the precious stones with which the hearts are set: While the ruby stands for passionate love, the diamond, as the hardest mineral, symbolises eternity. Both the motif and the techniques used to create the brooch allow us to date the piece of jewellery to around 1890. Without any doubt it was once a gift of love. Now it is waiting with us to fulfil this original purpose once again - or to be discovered by a passionate collector.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.