Sunrise over the Isle of Mull,
with Iona Abbey in the foreground

Silver viking ship brooch with deep cobalt blue enamel - the reverse is marked AR ICA, and has a Birmingham hallmark for 1935.

Rare silver and blue enamel annular brooch by Alexander Ritchie, Birmingham hallmark, 1936. The Gaelic inscription reads 'A h-uile latha sona dhuit' - 'May all your days be happy.'

Another example of the above, but rarer in red enamel. Hallmark is for Birmingham 1937.

Silver and turquoise enamel Viking ship brooch by Alexander Ritchie. One of his favourite designs, which occurs on various items of his work - from early brass firescreens to copper repousse dishes. This brooch is hallmarked Birmingham 1938 and also stamped AR IONA with the ICA (Iona Celtic Art) stamp.

Very unusual silver and dark blue enamel brooch in the form of a stylised Iona Dove. Ritchie also produced this same design occasionally as a pendant with blue enamel spacers. The marks are AR and Iona. No assay mark. The brooch dates from c.1920. Pictures by Chris Stewart.

Here is another example with very striking turquoise blue enamel. The reverse markkings are the same as the brooch shown above.

Very rare brooch by Alexander Ritchie from the 1920s. Turquoise and cobalt blue transparent enamel, with opaque white enamel on solid silver background. The reverse has separate recessed AR and IONA marks in separate rectangles. No hallmark. Approx 4cms maximum width.

Beautiful and very rare (possibly a 'one-off') Alexander Ritchie brass brooch with a hand-enamelled longship design in the centre. This is a large brooch, diameter almost 3". Early period, date c.1910.

Very attactive silver and turquoise blue enamel brooch, with Celtic birds finials and knotwork design. Length approx 5.5cms. Marks on reverse are AR IONA and ICA with Birmingham hallmark for 1937.

The same design as the above brooch, but an example with cobalt blue enamel. Hallmarks for 1936 and markings as above.

Delicate silver and cobalt blue enamel annular brooch by Alexander Ritchie. Six-petalled flower design. Reverse impressed marks of AR IONA, with ICA and a Birmingham hallmark for 1937. Of all Ritchie’s designs, this to me is one of the most attractive (but lets face it, all craftwork of The Ritchies is attractive!), and has a very universal appeal, rather than being specifically Celtic. Shown on the right is an earlier pre-ICA example of this delightful brooch, with turquoise enamel. The reverse marks on this one are just AR and IONA. Date mid 1920s.

Convex silver enamelled disc brooch by Alexander Ritchie. Reverse is hallmarked for Birmingham 1935 and has marks AR and ICA around the edge. Very art deco-style design yet merging perfectly with the ornate designs on early medieval Iona stone carvings.


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© 2004 by David James