Antique Essex Crystal Dog Brooch
The Victorians delighted in having representations of animals, especially their own pets, crafted into artwork and jewelry. Ranging from a beaded needlework sampler to magnificent oil paintings, this era also produced some of the most exquisite Essex crystals imaginable.
Extremely labor-intensive, rock crystal is cut into a convex form, and then polished into a cabochon. An image in relief is precisely carved from the back (on the flat side) and delicately hand painted; and then sealed with gold, silver or mother-of-pearl. When seen from the front or rounded side, the image “becomes” three dimensional, giving the viewer an amazing sense of depth.
Depictions of breeds popular among the upper crust were the most coveted of images. This one is most likely a Cairn or Short-haired Skye Terrier, one of the original terriers of the United Kingdom.
Fabricated in 20k yellow gold with a beaded border, this little fellow aptly represents his breed. The reverse of the brooch displays the original C-clasp, pin stem and tube hinge.
Measurements: Petite at 7/8 of an inch (2.3 cm) in diameter by 3/8 of an inch (1.1 cm) in depth not including the pin and 1/2 inch including the pin (1.4 cm). Weight of 8 grams.
Date & Origin: Circa 1870 and is most likely English in origin.