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Lochbuie Brooch

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Lochbuie Brooch
  • Description

    Lochbuie brooch; silver; set with crystals and pearls; reverse inscribed.

  • Date

    • 1600 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 12.2 centimetres
    • Depth: 7.15 centimetres
    • Weight: 480 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

        The Silver Oar of this Broch was found on the Estate of Lochbuy in Mull and made by a Tinker on that Estate about the year 1500. It was handed down by the Ladies of that family to one another untill Anna Campbell lady to Murdock McLean who had no Male Issue, gave it to Isabella McLean, their daughter, spouse to John Scrogie, Esq, to whom she presented it the day after their Marriage.
  • Curator's comments

    See note by Catherine GIllies on the closely-related Brooch of Lorn on object file. That is dated on stylistic grounds to late 16th C but incorporating earlier rock crystal charmstones in which there was revived interest in the 16th C. The Lorn brooch probably by same hand as this one. More on charmstones and related brooches in Jewellery in Scotland ex .cat., a number of them in NMS with clan histories. Third brooch is the Ugadale Brooch which is also privately owned. Another is Ballochyle Brooch in NMS, c1600 described as a symbol of authority and prestige, and has a confused talismanic motto on it and incorporating charmstone of rock crystal.For the latter see Dalgleish and Fotheringham, Silver made in Scotland, NMS 2008, no. 3.13.
    George Dalgleish at NMS notes that the inscription on this brooch refers to the marriage of Hector Maclean and Anna Campbell on 13 november 1705. Anna's family had extensive lands in Islay and Mull. They had no son. Their 3rd daughter Isabella married John Scrogie after 1730, probably at the date of the inscription. The Campbell/Maclean connection was a reflection of the importance of the Clan Campbell in Mull.Four of the five reliquary brooches therefore have links with the Campbells.

    A replica of this brooch was sold at Sotheby's London 26.8.1986 lot 236, made by Kirkwoods in Edinburgh, copied "from the original in the BM for Murdoch Maclaine of Lochbuie...1885". The replica in the NMS went to them in 1898 and may have been made at the same time?

    Central section unscrews to form a hollow chamber, perhaps a reliquary?


  • Bibliography

    • Bate & Thornton 2012 p. 204; p. 205, fig. 22; p. 293 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2012 19 Jul-25 Nov, London, BM Shakespeare: Staging the World
    2010 11 May-14 Aug, London, British Museum (G90), 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria'
    2002 28 Jun-2003 5 Jan, USA, Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History, Pearls
    2001 13 Oct-2002 14 Apr, USA, New York, American Museum of Natural History, Pearls
    1991 08 Aug-03 Nov, Scotland, Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland, The Art of Jewellery in Scotland.
    1889/90 London, Tudor Exhibition no.93

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • BL.3512 (Bernal Collection)
Loch Buy brooch; silver; set with crystals and pearls; reverse inscribed.


Loch Buy brooch; silver; set with crystals and pearls; reverse inscribed.

Image description



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Object reference number: MCM7615

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