Scotland’s Love Brooch The Luckenbooth

Welcome to the New Year

As we move into the New Year, I am already struggling to keep my New Year’s Resolutions. The bigger challenge is to work more on creating and posting new designs. My brain never stops working and filling up my notebooks. That means it’s time to share another new love of mine!

I have a huge love of learning about the history of jewelry. This is probably because my dad was briefly a history teacher. Because of him, stories and shows about history have always intrigued me. Jewelry is an intimate part of a person’s life and can hold many significant memories and meanings.

Along these lines I researched the history of the Claddagh, a Celtic love token. This is when I discovered the Luckenbooth, a much rarer and less known Scottish love token. The heart and crown designs are part of the same 17th century fashion trends that brought about the Claddagh ring design in Ireland. Interestingly, the Luckenbooth has quite a romantic past.

History of the Luckenbooth

A Luckenbooth brooch is a Scottish heart-shaped brooch, often with a crown above one heart, or two intertwined hearts. It was a traditional Scottish love token, given as a engagement or wedding gift. It was pinned to the clothing of the couple’s first baby to ward off evil spirits and protection from being stolen by fairies. The name comes from the “locked booths”, shops along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Legend has it that Mary Queen of Scots gifted a Luckenbooth brooch to Lord Darnley as a symbol of her love. However other stories state that she was given the brooch as an engagement gift from the Dauphin of France. The two hearts and crown looks like the letter “M” in a royal monogram, perhaps standing for Mary. The Luckenbooth has become a symbol of love in Scotland.

They were engraved with initials or with sayings. “Wrong not the heart whose joy thou art” , and “My heart you have and yours I crave” are some sweet examples.

Heart pins are as traditional in Scotland as kilt pins or clan badges, but not many Sassenachs (non-Scottish people) know of their importance to the country. And, of course, because of my love of Scotland I am working on designs to incorporate the pretty Luckenbooth.

Until Next Time

As always, thanks for reading. The New Year remains a wonderful book for us all to write. Looking forward to many adventures in jewelry with you!

Classic Luckenbooth brooch

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