I’m always ravenous for pieces of art that can be worn and shown off. And pieces like these, with endless charm and flattery, are by far my favorite. There’s a sweetness with this piece that stems from the jeweler’s love for his craft. There’s tradition with this piece, illuminated with the idea of nature and its beauty. There’s a fashion with this piece, found in the ratios of gold, crystal, and paint, which give a sense of perfect artistic balance.
This beautiful navette shaped pendant locket was handcrafted in around 1870. The large cabochon of rock crystal has been carved from the reverse and painted into a gorgeously rendered bird, a robin perhaps, sits on a branch surrounded by reeds and fern, the flora swaying in a gentle breeze. The frame is set with 32 pearls which measure 3mm round and one further 4 mm pearl in the bale. The back of the pendant has a locket with a removable frame and bezeled glass insert to showcase a photo or such. This pendant is rather large, it measures 55 mm from top to bottom including the bale and 23 mm across at the widest point, it measures 9.9 mm from front to back and weighs 13.5 grams. The pendant is unmarked but has been professionally acid tested to verify it’s 18 karat gold content.
This type of reverse cut and painted rock crystal is commonly called an Essex Crystal. It is a smooth round of rock crystal which has been cabochon cut and then deeply reverse-carved. It is then hand-painted from the back. It’s a tedious process that takes many man hours. And of course, every minute of work on this piece is worth it! The crystal is bezel set into a beautiful custom made 18 karat gold setting, and while many of these crystals are backed with mother of pearl, this one utilizes the gold of the pendant to create a golden sky behind the little natural scene.
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ITEM ID: PT1021094V