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18ct Gold Rock Crystal Reverse Intaglio Coat of Arms Pendant

£2,950

165

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A very fine quality Victorian oval pendant set with a carved reverse intaglio rock crystal of a Coat of Arms. It has the motto “Deo et Principe” meaning “God is my principle” for the Lamb family.
A reverse crystal intaglio is a rock crystal cabochon with an intaglio carved into the flat back. The intaglio was also painted realistically with oils so, that when viewed through the top, the image appears three-dimensional. Finally, the back was sealed in order to preserve the painted areas. The technique originated in Belgium c. 1860 and is attributed to an artist named Emile Marius Pradier. This technique was also practiced in England by Thomas Cook and his descendants who made crystals for Lambeth & Co.
Production of a reverse crystal intaglio begins with the mining and cutting of fine rock crystal from Brazil or Madagascar. A well-formed cabochon is the key to a beautifully made reverse intaglio and the tedious process of hand polishing it to perfection had to be completed before the design work could begin. A watercolour of the image was painted on the underside of the cabochon and an oil and diamond dust mixture was used along with up to 250 scribing tools to carve the design into the interior of the crystal “…the deeper the carving the more pronounced trompe l’oeil effect.” Once the carving was established the painting process began with extremely fine brushes and paint working in reverse to create incredibly detailed images.
The motifs most commonly found are sporting themes like horses, dogs, foxes and birds but special commissions were undertaken such as this example. This relatively secret process passed through family members, so keeping it exclusive and expectations of quality were very high.

Written by Olly Gerrish
Order before 4pm and receive for FREE tomorrow, Tue 23rd October, before 1pm
Date & OriginVictorian (1839-1901), English
MeasurementsHeight 3.6 cmbr>From top of loop to base 4.5 cm
Width 2.9 cm
ConditionExcellent
HallmarksUnmarked, tested to 18ct gold
ProvenanceEnglish
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