A wonderful 18K yellow gold and Essex crystal stick pin dating from the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. The head features a reverse-carved crystal decorated with a scene of a horse and rider jumping over a stone wall in a grassy field. The coloring is very finely done in pale shades. Essex crystals—especially those with sporting themes—were very popular in England and the United States. Occasionally, they were made in France, as well. French examples can often be identified by the use of a gold background under the crystal instead of the mother-of-pearl more frequently used in the US and England. The back of the gold mounting is stamped with the “tete d’aigle” hallmark for 18K gold and also with an illegible goldsmith’s mark.
Origin: France, ca. 1870. Condition: excellent, no damage or wear to the crystal. Size: overall length, 2-15/16”; head, 11/16” diameter. Weight: 5.0 grams.