A Link to the Past
From gaudy, provocative designs to exquisite examples set in gold and embedded with precious gemstones, cufflinks are a sharp way to add flair to classic formalwear.Discover More
A fine pair of rock crystal and 75% pure gold (or 750 parts pure gold and 250 parts other metals) More gold cufflinks that were made in France circa 1910. A reverse crystal An engraved stone, the opposite of a cameo, with a recessed design cut below the surface of the stone. Intaglio designs are common for signet rings and fob seals. More is a rock crystal A polished, not faceted, dome shaped stone - either round or oval with a flat polished base, primarily used as a cut for phenomenal stones such as cat's eyes and stars.
More 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 A precious, lustrous gemstone made of highly compressed carbon. Diamonds are one of the hardest materials known to mankind. Colours of diamonds range from colourless, yellow, orange and brown to almost black. Natural coloured (or ‘fancy’) diamonds can be extremely rare. The cut, colour, clarity and carat weight of a diamond are the criteria jewellers use... More 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 – horses, dogs, foxes and birds. This relatively secret process passed through family members, so keeping it exclusive and expectations of quality were very high. They remained in fashion until poorly made glass and plastic imitations flooded the market c. 1920s.
These cufflinks were made circa 1900-1910 and feature two hunting dogs, a pheasant and a duck. Cufflinks such as these are very collectable today.
Buying antique jewellery is both ethical and eco-friendly as harmful and destructive mining processes are not needed to make an item yours. So give yourself a pat on the back!Find Out More