Victorian 15kt/Sterling Dog Fob with Onyx Seal
A fob is an adornment or a seal that hangs from the ribbon or chain of a pocket watch. Its purpose is to decorate or add weight to the watch chain itself making it easier for the watch to be withdrawn from a pocket. The fob would have been used to seal the wax of a letter or note. The opposite of a cameo, an intaglio is created by carving below the surface to produce and image in relief with the purpose of pressing into sealing wax, often used in signet rings.
A lovely figural fob from the Victorian era (ca1880) with a charming dog motif! Made of sterling silver and 15kt yellow gold, this English piece is unusually delicate in size, has a wonderful 3-dimensional design. The sweet dog sits on its hind legs, with its tail tucked under and its head turned to face the back. A wirework collar is wrapped around its neck, and lightly engraved detail represents its fur and facial features. At the base of the fob is a black onyx seal, which is bezel set and has the intaglio image of a signet letter carved into the surface. At the top of the piece is gold jump ring, perfect for hanging the piece from a chain. Figural fobs are very desirable, and this one is particularly unusual due to its delicate size. It would make a special addition to any collection!
Measurements: The piece hangs 7/8" long, including the ring at the top. The fob itself stands 3/4" tall, excluding the ring for hanging. The onyx seal at the base measures 1/2" long and 3/8" wide. The dog measures 1/2" tall, 3/8" wide, and 3/16" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the fob is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the silver and gold setting, or to the onyx seal, which is intact and free of chips or scratches. The jump ring at the top is secure. There is a natural patina on the surface of the setting that gives it a slightly darkened antique appearance. This is a normal for antique jewelry, and adds depth and character to the design.