Georgian jewelry was often sentimental and heart brooches were popular gifts. One popular style was an open heart brooch called a witch’s heart. The tail of a witch’s heart twists to the right side, a shape that has been in use since the 15th century. Over time, they have symbolized love, loyalty, betrothal, and even protection. At the time, they were worn for their ‘magical properties’- to ward off evil spirits and for protecting loved ones. Tiny metal witch’s hearts were often pinned to baby’s blankets as a charm to ward off evil spirits.
They gained in popularity in Scotland in the 17th century when they became known as a Luckenbooth, named for the closed booths in the jewelry quarter near St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh where they were initially sold as talismans to protect loved ones.
By the 18th century, the witch’s heart had taken on a meaning beyond a talisman—they were given to a loved one as proof of being “bewitched” with love. As love tokens to the Georgians, they were most commonly made of garnets, symbols of love and friendship. The crowned, entwined hearts signified loyalty to the “bewitched” one.
This striking witch's heart brooch hails from the Victorian era, c.1880. The central turquoise heart was added to the larger witch's heart sometime in antiquity. The brooch measures approximately 33mm tall by 20mm wide and features approximately 1.9 carats of old cut diamonds. It weighs 6.4g
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