Victorian Sterling Silver Faith Hope and Charity Hinged bangle bracelet.
This incredible bracelet is a rare find. Every aspect of this bracelet is considered and beautifully executed. The sterling surface is delicate hand chased with a decorative frieze of abstract paisley swirls against an abstract ground while the central station of the elegantly graduated slope of the top side is inlaid with bloodstone in the form of the 'Faith, Hope, Charity' triad so popular in the 19th century. Bloodstone for Victorians represented the idea of 'justice'.
The inside of the bracelet is hand engraved in Blackletter font with the name, 'Rachel Beattie'. We presume that this bracelet was made in Scotland, as was much of the jewelry made with Bloodstone, and the name definitely reinforces this presumption. Bloodstone itself is mined in India, Australia, Brazil and the United States and is also known as Heliotrope, or 'sunstone'. Its nomenclature has ties to both ancient Greek and ancient Christian traditions and it is affiliated with both March as a birthstone and to the Aries sign in some of the oldest charts regarding the zodiac.
The central overlap of the cross (Faith), the anchor (Hope) and the heart (Charity) represent a very old philosophy of virtues originally rooted in Christianity; the three sister-Saints in Roman Catholic traditions, ‘Fides, Spes et Caritas’ all daughters of Sophia, or ‘Wisdom’, were martyrs dating back to the 2nd century AD. However this graphically powerful trio of icons also enjoyed a mainstream popularity in jewelry in the Victorian era and was worn as a set of charms, overlapping on brooches, encrusted or carved on stones, or as inlay as seen here.
MATERIALS: 925 Silver, Bloodstone (chalcedony family).
CONDITION: VERY GOOD, some wear at the metal around the clasp.
Inner Diameter: Inner circumference measures 6.5 inches.
Bangle Dimensions: Measures 1/2 to 1 1/8 inches wide.