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Antique Essex Crystal Ring of a Cat


The image of the dog or canine in fine antique jewelry was produced in far more abundance than that of the feline. Cat aficionados are often left wanting.

This precious treasure of an Essex crystal features the image of a most beguiling kitty cat. A real Essex or Cook’s crystal (named after its English developer) is a rock crystal cabochon with an image carved in reverse on the back then painstakingly hand painted and often backed with mother of pearl. This is a true Essex crystal, not one of pressed glass often mistakenly labeled as such.

This antique example sports a fine deep carving of the face of a charming kitty with a dulcet expression. Rendered in colors of brown, yellow and cream, the curious little kitty is marked with white whiskers and white-tipped ears. Careful detailing and subtle shading are enhanced by the deep carving which creates a pronounced three-dimensional trompe l’oeil effect. The crystal is set in an 18k yellow gold bezel with a 14k yellow gold shank.

Date: Circa 1880, shank is more modern.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 9/16 of an inch (1.1 cm) in length north to south on the hand and rises 5/16 of an inch (0.9 cm) in height off the finger. Weight of 3.8 grams (2.5 dwt).

Ring Size: US 8 (UK P-1/2; Euro or Int. Circum. 56.9 mm; Int. Dia. 18.1 mm; Japan 16) and easily can be sized to fit most. Ring sizing information.

Condition: This may have been a stickpin or similar item and converted to a ring; modern 14k shank. Otherwise, excellent.

Origin: Most likely English.

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