No one knows how long the thistle has been synonymous with Scotland. Legend holds that an invading Viking trod upon a thistle in his bare feet and issued scream of pain providing ample warning to the sleeping Scots; subsequently the thistle has become a symbol of protection against evil and harm. Used by the early Kings of Scotland as their personal heraldic crest and borne by the Arms of the Realm, a number of ancient Scottish clans and families include the thistle as part of their coats of arms. In 1687 James II instituted The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle as a distinct Scottish Order of Knighthood, making this one of the oldest of all surviving British orders. Virtually everything commonly associated with Scotland boasts a thistle.
Luckenbooth brooches have a long history dating from the late 1600s when the Dauphin of France gave Mary, Queen of Scots a betrothal brooch to celebrate their marriage. The brooch features two intertwined hearts surmounted by a crown, the coronet symbolising the young Queen Consort of France. There are countless design variations of the entwined hearts, as well as those of the coronets surmounting the hearts. The design of the coronets generally being taken from those who headed up the Scottish Regiments, by example the Duke of Atholl (who, btw, has the last private standing army in Britain and Europe, Atholl Highlanders). Then, as now, Royalty drove popular trends. Exchanged by lovers on their betrothal, and subsequently pinned to their baby's shawl to protect the child from evil spirits, these heart-shaped brooches, often decorated with a thistle, gained their name from their sale in the Luckenbooths (small street market stalls that could be securely locked at night) located around St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
As only Malcolm Appleby could do so eloquently, these two thoroughly Scottish icons are given a fresh modern interpretation in the form of his beautiful cuff bracelet. The interlocking hearts are no longer side by side, but rather they are inverted so that there points surround a perfectly placed thistle at the centre. The shape of the hearts are carried sinuously and sensually along to define the overall form of the bracelet, while Malcolm's renowned engraving transferred to the casting of thistle stems, leaves and blossoms across the face. The inside of the bracelet is decorated with ancient spirals, cups and rings improbably capturing the unknown meaning of Baluachraig and making it part of your intimate language of love.
Your purchase of the Protection and Love bracelet serves to benefit the preservation of the equally iconic Rosslyn Chapel.