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Reverse Crystal Intaglio Bi-Color Gold Sporting Brooch


Dating from the 1880s, this Victorian era bi-color gold brooch depicts a coastal scene of ducks in flight, in reverse-painted rock crystal, set above a mother-of-pearl ground. Ducks and colorful drakes take flight in landscape of reeds, shallow waters and golden-green marshlands, within a chased rose and yellow gold frame of interwoven cat tails and curving fronds. Beautifully integrated in design, with the polychrome marshland scene blending into the frame with chased water plants, this pictorial brooch celebrates the natural beauty of the coastal landscape.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BO-16621
Circa: 1880s
Size: 1.50’’ length, 2’' width
Materials: 18K Gold; 18K Rose gold; Reverse-painted rock crystal; Mother-of-pearl

Said to have originated in Belgium, reverse-painted crystal intaglios became a native English art in the 1860s. Once the rock crystal had been shaped into a dome, the design was drawn on the reverse with water color, etched with a scribe pencil, and engraved into the reverse with steel tools tipped with diamond dust and oil. The image was then painted with extremely fine brushes, and the jewel was sealed with plain or etched mother-of-pearl, to astonishing effect.