A superb pair of late Victorian or Edwardian 14K yellow gold double-sided cufflinks, the faces set with reverse-carved and painted Essex crystals depicting a cockfight. Cufflinks depicting a cockfight are quite rare. The workmanship in this pair is outstanding. The carving is deep and the painting is expertly done. The mother-of-pearl backing is particularly lustrous with fine iridescence. The crystals are simply set in gold frames attached with bar connectors marked "14K".
At the turn of the century, cockfighting was considered a gentleman's sport and images from fights appeared on a variety of gentlemen's accessories and barware. The images tell the story of the whole match. One crystal shows the roosters meeting for the first time; the second shows one rooster attacking; the third shows the counter-attack; and the final crystal shows the winning rooster crowing over his vanquished enemy.
Origin: America, ca. 1900. Condition: excellent; one face has very faint moisture marks on the mother-of-pearl, but no paint loss. Size: faces, 11/16" x 9/16". Weight: 13.3 grams.