Antique Essex Crystal Bird Brooch Pendant
The master craftsmen of the Victorian era have certainly demonstrated their extraordinary skills in this extremely sharp and vivid tromp l’oeil intaglio of a woodpecker readying to take off in full flight.
Originating around the mid 1800s, this style of carving is referred to as an Essex crystal. A cabochon of clear rock crystal has been carved on the flat side and splendidly hand-painted in minute detail to capture a superb three-dimensional realistic image. A thin backing layer of mother of pearl enhances the tromp l’oeil effect. Astonishing details and intense naturalistic coloring add to the wonderment of the rendering of the avian.
The miniature art piece has been set into a 15k yellow gold mounting with an applied border of layers of braided wire in varying widths, sizes and designs to create a bombe or dome shape heightening the impact of the cabochon crystal. Brooch and pendant fittings as well as a removable yellow gold diamond-encrusted bale add to the versatility of the jewel.
Measurements: 1-9/16 inches (3.9 cm) in length not including bale and 1-7/8 inches (4.6 cm) with the bale; by 1-5/16 inches (3.3 cm) in width by 5/8 of an inch (1.5 cm) in depth. This antique brooch has a weight of 23.0 grams (14.8 dwt).
Date & Origin: Circa 1870 and is English in origin.
Overall Scale: Medium to large