A Mid 20thC Scottish Silver, Agate Hardstone & Luckenbooth Bracelet, Hallmarked for The Ward Brothers, Birmingham 1965
Period: Mid-Twentieth Century
Open Length: 10 inches including chain (approx)
Closed Length: 8 inches (approx)
Set with five various agate hardstones in greens, blacks and reds, some banded or scalloped, alternating with luckenbooth/cast witches heart tokens surmounted by a crown decoration. Although having been slightly over cleaned verso, there are full hallmarks on one link for Ward Brothers, the Birmingham anchor mark followed by the Lion rampant, and the date letter for 1965. The remaining links are all marked with the date letter.
In super overall condition, there is no loss to report to either the silver links, or the stones themselves, the locking mechanism on the clasp is still in working order.
Glasgow silversmiths The Ward Brothers produced jewellery from the nineteenth century and were originally based in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Later moving to Birmingham (where this piece was crafted) to increase production, they produced Scottish designs with brilliant faceted stones.
The tail of a witch's heart twists to one side and is a shape that has been in use since the fifteenth century. It gained popularity in Scotland in the seventeenth century when it became known as a Luckenbooth, referring to the closed booths in Edinburgh where they were sold as tokens to ward off evil spirits and protect loved ones. Tiny witch's hearts were often pinned to a baby's blanket as protection. By the 18th century, the shape had taken on a slightly different meaning — they were given to a loved one as proof of being "bewitched." Crowned hearts, such as this, signify loyalty to the "bewitching" one.
A truly bewitching and romantic example of quality vintage jewellery.