Kicking off 2021 and Hancocks London’s Jewel of the Month series is a beautiful Scottish
Gold Hardstone Bulla-Style Locket Fringed Pendant. Dated to circa 1870, the striking pendant measures 3.6cm wide and its Etruscan-inspired ‘bulla’ design features a flower motif with gold bead centre surrounded by six lobes of various hardstones in different colours including agate, bloodstone and jasper. The stones are set within a decorative border of inlaid hardstones and ornate engraving surmounted by a similarly decorated large hinged bale, opening to reveal a round glazed panel and with three articulated drops suspended beneath.
Guy Burton of Hancocks London comments: “This unusual pendant is a rare example of the marrying of two distinct and collectable jewellery styles, ‘Archaeological Revival’ and ‘Scottish Pebble Jewellery’.
Scottish pebble jewellery was very popular in the Victorian period, particularly during the latter half of the 19th century after Queen Victoria fell in love with Scotland and all things Scottish. She owned and wore various items of Scottish pebble jewellery, some of which she commissioned herself from stones she had personally collected. By the 1880s, the style was so popular that hundreds of jewellers were producing pieces not only in Scotland but also in England. They drew inspiration from traditional Scottish designs such as kilt pins and shawl brooches before branching out into other designs with inspiration from further afield – such as our bulla.”
Archaeological Revival jewellery is also a collecting area added Guy Burton: “The term ‘bulla’ describes this type of opening pendant, typically round or oval in shape and hinged at the top with a locket compartment inside, worn as an amulet. They date back to the Etruscan and Ancient Roman periods when it was common to give one to male children as an amulet to ward off evil spirits however a few have been found in Ireland and dated further back to the Bronze Age.