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Victorian Border Collie Stickpin

Victorian collie reverse intaglio stickpin. (SP9049)

Border Collie

A vigilant border collie watches from behind a dome of rock crystal.  The pooch is beautifully modeled with soulful eyes, a finely detailed coat and alert, twitching whiskers.  Known as a "reverse intaglio" this stickpin was created in 18kt gold around 1880.

Sometimes called "Essex crystals,"  reverse intaglios were first embraced by Victorian jewelers during the 1860s.  These miniature masterpieces were created by an artist meticulously carving the image into the back of a polished dome of rock crystal.  Then, using brushes sometimes as small as a single horse hair,  the image was carefully painted with fine lifelike details. 

The back of the crystal is often closed with mother of pearl to give the image a luminous, back lit quality.  The finest reverse intaglios present a lifelike, three dimensional portrait of the subject that appears to rise out of the crystal to engage the viewer.  This Victorian stickpin of a border collie is a wonderful example.

Cost:  Although this elegant stickpin has sold,  you will find many more
fine stickpins in the Antique Stickpin Gallery.

Measurements:  This 18kt gold stickpin is  2 1/2" long and weighs 3.2 grams.  The reverse intaglio is  1/2" in diameter.

Victorian collie reverse intaglio stickpin. (SP9049)

Victorian collie reverse intaglio stickpin. (SP9049)

The reverse of the stickpin is as nicely crafted as the front.  The back is enclosed with gold to help protect the intaglio crystal and the mother-of-pearl backing.  The pin stem is attached with a rams head mount, a form favored by British jewelers in the late Victorian period.  Just to the left of the pin stem "18" is stamped for the purity of the gold.

Here are a few more elegant jewels from the past ...

Hans Brassler medieval amethyst stickpin. (SP9421) Equestrian stickpin of horse head in profile. (J9056) French Art Nouveau dragon stickpin. (J9485)

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