Such a rare bird, this extraordinary antique sterling silver bracelet is beautiful quality and hails from the height of the jazz age.
The bracelet showcases a full set of highly collectible and rare intaglios in a sporting and canine theme. To make the intaglios rock crystals are reverse carved and painted with images and then laid onto mother of pearl discs. The shell adds an iridescent background which makes the images appear to float when viewed from the side. Each crystal intaglio is prong set into the bracelet and flanked by semi circular silver discs in a design iconic of the high Deco era.
Exceptional skill and workmanship at play, these intaglios were laboriously painted in enamel using brushes of only two or three hairs. Popularly known as "Essex" crystals they were popular art form in England during the 19th and early 20th century. Named after Sir William Essex, who painted miniature animal portraits for Queen Victoria, they were widely imported into the US and used in jewelry which has become highly desirable and cherished.
Although the bracelet isn't signed we think it may be an early Abercrombie and Fitch piece. The US company started life as an upscale sporting goods retailer in Manhattan, New York in 1892 and are known to have used these particular sporting intaglios in watches, cufflinks, tie pins and to a lesser extent women's jewelry.
MATERIALS: sterling silver
STONES: Presidium tested, 6 rock quartz crystals, 1/2" (6.5mm) diameter: subjects- Airedale terrier head, horses head, golfer, foxes head, horse & jockey, field dog/Lurcher
MEASUREMENTS: 7-3/4" (20cm) end to end
HALLMARKS: stamped 'sterling' on clasp
DATE: 1920s-1930s, Art Deco
WEIGHT: 22.5 grams
ORIGIN: North America
CONDITION: Beautiful antique condition, no loss to the enamel paint noted, all the crystals are chip and crack free and the clasp is in perfect working order.
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- Our photographs are taken with a magnified macro lens to show you every tiny detail, flaws are exaggerated and aren't as noticeable to the naked eye, similarly shadows caused by studio lighting can give rise to discoloured areas that don't exist.