Thursday, March 3, 2016

Nice (Heraldic) Gift!

I swear, if this were the kind of gift that was passed out to bridesmaids at most weddings, I think I'd be willing to put on one of those poufy dresses myself and show up.

The fine folks over at My Family Silver have put up a picture and the history behind a really nice armorial brooch that was a gift for a bridesmaid at the marriage of John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, to Gwendolin Fitzalan-Howard on 16 April 1872.

Their technical description calls it:

A gold brooch in Gothic style mounted with an enamelled armorial shield surmounted by a pearl set coronet within a circlet of cushion-shaped rubies and diamonds.

The Glasgow Herald, covering the wedding, said of it:

Each youthful lady wore as a memento of the auspicious event a valuable gold locket, the centre being in the shape of a shield or escutcheon, on which were enamelled in colours proper the heraldic arms of the Bute and Norfolk families impaled. Round the lower part of the shield, from the top of the dexter chief to that of the sinister, was a band of beautiful rubies and small diamonds, the loop set with the same precious stones. The ornament was surmounted with a Marquis’s coronet, the leaves being formed in diamonds alternating with pearls.

I would just call it a really great gift, and one that I might be willing to wear a bridesmaid's dress for a couple of hours to receive.

Or, I suppose, I could just save up my money and buy it.

You can learn more about this great piece of historical heraldry on the My Family Silver blog at, or (if you have a lot more available cash than I do) you can find it for sale at


  1. If we had the spare $15,000 I would buy it for you...just to get a picture of you in a poofy bridesmaid dress!