The anchor of hope

Large agate & silver pebble brooch, Scotland circa 1890

The anchor is an ancient symbol of hope. In Christian iconography, it symbolizes the hope of heavenly bliss as well as the very earthly resistance to despair. The present brooch from the last decade of the 19th century shows exactly this form. Around the anchor is wound the anchor rope, in classical iconography. The brooch is a typical piece of the so-called pebble jewellery from Scotland. Made of silver, the brooch is set on its front with semi-precious stones from the Highlands such as striped agate and helitrope. A beautiful piece of jewellery and symbol of hope in one, first class preserved and easy to wear.

In the second half of the 19th century, Scottish-style jewellery became popular in Britain, so-called "Scotch Pebbles". The writings of Walter Scott, which idealized the primitive and natural life in Scotland, led to a veritable mania for everything that came from this northernmost part of the British Isles. Even the royal family spent extended holidays in the Highlands; Queen Victoria had acquired Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands in 1848. Here they liked to be portrayed in the typical Scottish costume - which also included various pieces of jewellery with semi-precious stones. This fashion was adopted by large parts of the population and confirmed the old saying "As goes the Queen, so does the commoner". The jewellery that emerged in this way until the end of the 19th century favoured setting agates, jaspers and onyxes in silver - as in the brooch presented here: in the form of a large blossom, it presents the polished stones set in silver. The stones from the Scottish Highlands show natural stripe patterns and each of them offers a different image.

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.