Quizzers or quizzing glasses were popular for both men and women from the 18th century onward. So named because they “quizzed” or studied a subject.
Some magnified, others reduced and were meant as a means to view a scene, such as an opera or play. In this case, this fine gemstone and gold quizzer, reduces.
Hold it up to a landscape, a play or human-scape, and the scene is miniaturized. An artist may have used the same type of reducing glass to paint portraits on a petite scale.
For a quizzer, the method is to hold it about 6 inches away from the face. The farther away on object rests, the smaller it appears.
In this exceptional rendition, both sides were created in splendor with the same ornate designs and meticulous craftsmanship. However, one side displays brilliant deep natural amethysts; the other Persian turquoise. The 18k gold chosen for optimal effect was two-colored, yellow and green.
Circa 1820, it is simply the finest quizzing glass presented in all our 17 years. The surfaces are a marvel of texture, variation, color and light with impeccable design and proportion.
Fine wire work, granulation and masterful hand-made gold work result in an object to treasure. Tiny flowers in green gold grace each side. When not worn, you might just have to rest it on your dresser or display cabinet so it is always in view.
Often this was worn on a ribbon but is equally suited to a chain, fine or heavier.
A similar example can be seen on page 114 of the book, "Georgian Jewelllery" by Dawes and Collings.