Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Plaid Brooch, 1848

The Plaid Brooch
Commissioned by Prince Albert
Scotland, 1848
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

A work of cairngorm (a form of quartz native to Scotland), gold, enamel, seed pearls and garnets, this handsome brooch is called “The Plaid Brooch.” It dates to about 1848 and was commissioned by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. The Prince Consort presented the brooch to his Royal wife in November 21, 1848. The cairngorm had been collected by Prince Albert himself while on a walk with the Queen at Lochnagar, the highest mountain near Balmoral, in September 1848.

The brooch was intended to record their bravery in attempting to climb the mountain, even in the most inclement weather and fog. Furthermore, it was meant as a gift to the Queen from Prince Albert to celebrate the birthday of Princess Victoria.

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