Iona Abbey from the south, with the
Isle of Mull and Ben More in the background

Rare convex shield brooch with dark blue enamelled 'compass-points'. Stamped AR IONA in individual rectangles, and Birmingham hallmark for 1936. A number brooches with this design were made, but the majority do not have the 'compass-points' enamelled; they are left as plain silver.

Classic Alexander Ritchie design convex silver shield brooch in the shape of a Celtic cross. Known as the Prioress Anna brooch, this intricate design has a copy of the stone effigy of Prioress Anna MacLean of Iona on each of the four arms. The central knowtwork boss is surrounded by an inscription in tiny capital letters 'Prioress Anna - Iona.' The original medieval stonecarving can still be seen on Iona, and dates from the 15th century. This particular brooch was made from Ritchies original mould after his death, by AHD&Sons of Birmingham and is hallmarked for Birmingham 1946.

Circular Viking ship brooch by Alexander Ritchie. Scarce early example in plain silver (many of the later ones were enamelled). This one has the AR imprint as conjoined letters, and IONA. These are impresssed within separate rectangles. No hallmark. Early to mid 1920s.

Early 1920s silver shield brooch, with knotwork and foliate decoration. Reverse markings are AR and IONA within separate rectangles. No assayer's mark.

Two similar silver Alexander Ritchie openwork circular brooches with the same design of a Viking ship surrounded by ropework border. The left-hand one is hallmarked for Glasgow 1929 and the right-hand one has the ICA stamp and assay marks for Birmingham 1934. Both also have AR and IONA stamps. Diameters approximately 3cms.

Unusual silver targe or shield brooch, with nice 'spectacle' marks of AR, as well as AR IONA and Glasgow hallmark for 1927. The design has a number of carefully-executed spirals bosses, and concentric ring of foliate decoration. Diameter approx 2.8 cms.

Unusual pierced silver shield brooch decorated with central spirals boss and knotwork. Reverse has marks AR IONA and Glasgow assay mark of 1930.


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© 2004 by David James