Love token

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 

The rear of Isabella’s brooch

 

 

 

When I went to see Isabella and Malcolm’s descendants on Skye in February, the owner of the dress showed me Isabella’s ring, brooch and snuffbox (made out of a cow’s horn with a silver lid). All three had the same engraving of her initials as you can see on the brooch above, although they have worn off the ring.

This brooch fits into the palm of your hand and the pin at the back is a bit useless as you are not able to pierce fabric with it (& hence would be no good as a brooch for an arisaid).

This evening I found out what it was thanks to those lovely two nerdy history girls: a luckenbooth brooch. The wiki page on Luckenbooth brooches explains everything on them, except how they were worn by women. I think it makes sense that it would be attached to a woman’s fichu, just before it is tucked in. The romantic in me imagines it on a fichu, on Isabella’s wedding day.

Whether it was given by Malcolm to Isabella at their betrothal or their wedding day we will probably never know. But what we do know is that it was treasured.

Updated on 19th April 2018 to add:

The jewellery was made by Thomas Borthwick, who was active in Inverness from 1772 until 1783.

3 comments

  1. It might be worth a look at Silversmiths from the end of the 18th Century. The IF is probably a local silversmith, John Fraser perhaps, not markings that the items belonged to Isabella Fraser.

    Like

    • The owner actually knows who made them so I’ve emailed her for the info. I know they were made in Inverness (the ring and luckenbooth brooch), just can’t remember the name. I’ll update the blog post when I’ve got the info 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply to Fred Lucas Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s