An antique Scottish design grouse claw kilt pin with a traditional simple silver metal mount and a safety chain.
This slightly macabre looking kilt pin can also be worn as a brooch. It is formed from the foot or claw from a grouse bird and dates from c.1946.
Grouse foot pins were the traditional means by which to keep a kilt from gaping open and were worn when hunting grouse to bring good luck.
However, the back of this pin is marked ‘Mizpah’ which means that rather than being used to don a kilt, this was given to a loved one as a parting gift. The word Mizpah is a biblical, Hebrew, word meaning ‘watchtower’ and describes an emotional bond between two people who are separated.
From the mid 1800’s, pieces of jewellery and keepsakes marked ‘Mizpah’ were given as love tokens to signify their bond. The word meant:
‘The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from another’
In other words, ‘keep us safe while we’re apart’.
Romantic and macabre!
This piece was made by the company Miracle who specialise in Celtic jewellery and mark their pieces with the word Mizpah.
If you'd like to know more about the history of grouse claw kilt pins, please take a look at my blog.