Unusual Essex Crystal Equine Portrait Ring
Sporting jewelry has its roots in the late Victorian period. With the development of an expanding leisure class, people, especially women, enjoyed wearing such jewelry that displayed the various sports in which they engaged. The tradition of this style of jewelry was carried on through the Art Nouveau, Edwardian and Art Deco eras.
An Essex Crystal with a portrait of the head of a horse (replete with bridle) and braided mane has been set in a 14k yellow gold ring of medium small scale. It is unusual to have placed the crystal in a ring as most are found in stick pins, brooches or used occasionally as charms. The engraving is superbly rendered and the details of the painting are crisp and exact. The red roan horse clearly stands out from the mother-of-pearl backing. The bifurcated shoulders replicate the design form of traditional horse tack.
Hallmarks: “14k”; maker's mark for Steeber Company (one of the Newark makers).
Measurements: 3/8 of an inch (1 cm) in width and diameter of the crystal and has a weight of 3.9 grams (2.5 dwt).
Size: Just over a 5-1/2 US (UK K 1/2; Euro 16.25, 51 mm). Can be sized by our expert jewelers to fit any finger.
Date & Origin: Circa 1920 and is American in origin.