8/4 Sherry Harris, A Time to Swill
8/11 Authors of The Fish That Got Away
8/18 Authors of Mutt Murders
8/25 Alyssa Maxwell, Murder at Wakehurst
8/21 Nancy Nau Sullivan
WWK Special Blogger
8/7 V. M. Burns-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Friday, February 28, 2020
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Who remembers the British TV comedy Are You Being Served?
In one of the delightfully silly episodes, Mrs. Slocombe, head of the Ladies' Department at Grace Brothers Department Store, holds up a pair of wooly undergarments, perfect when you're traveling "up the Cairngorms."
For those who don't know, the Cairngorms are a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland.
A Cairngorm is also a semi-precious stone mined in the Cairngorm Mountains, varying in color from honey yellow to clove brown. Silver brooches with Cairngorms and other semi-precious stones became hugely popular during the reign of Queen Victoria. The diminutive queen loved spending time at Balmoral, her Scottish castle; and with her patronage, interest in all things Scottish exploded.
Since my debut mystery, A Dream of Death, takes place in Scotland, and since my protagonist, Kate Hamilton, is an antiques dealer, I thought I'd share my personal collection of Cairngorm brooches. I think they are beautiful, and they remind me of my own Scottish heritage.
This one is a classic shield shape with a large central Cairngorm and finely worked slices of agate and carnelian in various colors.
This Cairngorm brooch is one of my favorites, also Victorian with a light gold Cairngorm and agates in gray and white. Three are missing. I'm thinking about getting them replaced if I can find someone to do it.
This brooch was made by the Ward Brothers in Edinburgh, sometime in the 1950s, specifically for the tourist trade. The metal is sterling, but the "Cairngorms," set into a thistle, are glass. I still love it!
This large leaf brooch isn't strictly a Cairngorm, but it is the prize of my collection. The marks on the back tell me it was manufactured in December of 1864. I love how it looks when paired with a couple of the other Cairngorms on a jacket.
Finally, this Cairngorm and silver brooch isn't mine. It's part of the Royal Collection. Prince Albert purchased it for Queen Victoria in 1847/48. Queen Elizabeth wore it to the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.
If you see a Cairngorm brooch in an antique store, I hope you appreciate it. And if you're ever in Scotland, don't forget to go "up the Cairngorms!"
What do you collect? We'd love to see a photo!