Queen Victoria's passion for animals and Balmoral combined to popularize Scotties as pets - and this antique brooch is a charming example of the craze. The dog is rendered three-dimensionally, paint having been laid in depressions carved into rock crystal, and the dimensionality is accentuated by silver highlights on his black fur. Even the grass on which he stands is nicely detailed in blended shades of green and blades are meticulously incised.
The graceful mounting comprised of three circles framing the bezel is certainly original. With the old open C clasp and elongated pinstem indicative of great age, it's of rolled gold or gilt that shows some wear but retains quite a lot of sparkle. Only under high magnification is it possible to see a couple of flaws or fissures deep in the crystal, but there's no surface damage at all. Overall size is 1 3/4" long by 3/4" wide, the crystal is about half an inch round, origin is probably English and the provenance of this jewel is fascinating. It came from the New York estate of a gentleman who ran a jewelry store in the early 20th century, and kept the most remarkable finds for his own collection.
As you probably know, Essex crystals are highly coveted today and prices are rocketing. Elsewhere online, $325 is being charged for a dog's head in a crystal this size, mounted on a stickpin that isn't even original. Because we got a great deal on this treasure, we enjoy the chance to pass unusual savings along.
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