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Victorian "Essex Crystal" Stickpin

Victorian pheasant reverse intaglio stickpin. (J9246)

Pheasant Under Glass

A British stickpin with a reverse intaglio ("Essex crystal") of a ring-necked pheasant making its way through a miniature landscape.  In this beautifully sculpted vignette you can almost feel the pheasant's wariness as it gingerly steps between the gently swaying plants animated by the breeze.  Crafted in 18kt gold, circa 1880.

This finely detailed masterpiece began with a gem carver meticulously carving the scene into the back of a polished rock crystal cabochon (hence the term "reverse intaglio").  Then using fine brushes (sometimes no more than a single horsehair) the artist carefully colored and highlighted pheasant and flora.  Finally, the back of the crystal was sealed with a small disk of mother of pearl throwing the image into bright, luminous relief.  Truly a Victorian masterpiece in miniature!

Cost:  Although this elegant stickpin has sold,  you will find many more fine stickpins in the Antique Stickpin Gallery.

Measurements:  This 18kt gold stickpin is  2 1/2" long and weighs 3.1 grams.  The reverse intaglio is  1/2" in diameter.

Victorian pheasant reverse intaglio stickpin. (J9246)

Victorian pheasant reverse intaglio stickpin. (J9246)

The reverse of the stickpin is as nicely crafted as the front.  The back is enclosed with gold to help protect the intaglio crystal and the mother-of-pearl backing.  The pin stem is attached with a "rams head" mount, a form favored in the late Victorian period.  Beneath the pin stem the back is stamped "18" for the purity of the gold.

Here are a few more elegant jewels from the past ...

Hans Brassler medieval amethyst stickpin. (SP9421) Equestrian stickpin of horse head in profile. (J9056) French Art Nouveau dragon stickpin. (J9485)

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