Victorian Blackamoor Intaglio Fob Black Spinel Necklace
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 Its purpose is to decorate or add weight to the watch chain itself, making it easier for the watch to be withdrawn from a pocket.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 base of the fob would have been used to seal the wax of a letter or note.
A very special Blackamoor fob necklace from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This decorative fob is made of 15kt gold and silver, and depicts a stately Blackamoor figurine with a seal at the base. The face of the Blackamoor is hand carved from rich, dark ebony, depicting simple facial features on the front and hair on the back. A cap rests atop its head, carved from a piece of what appears to be rock crystal or chalcedony. A curved yellow gold design forms the center of the fob, decorated with two rows of sparkling old Rose Cut diamonds. The base of the fob holds a glass tassie intaglio seal, which is bezel set in silver. (A tassie is a glass copy of a cameo or intaglio, used to replicate ancient agates and gemstones by using a molding process, rather than by carving.) The tassie seal has the image of a man's face shown in profile, complete with intricate facial features. The fob hangs from a modern Estate necklace formed by a single strand of black spinels strung on wire. The spinels are faceted and catch the light beautifully, closely resembling black diamonds when worn. The necklace fastens with a simple 14kt gold spring ring clasp in the back stamped "585." Blackamoor jewelry has become very collectable, and this wonderful fob is an excellent example. A very unusual piece, it looks fantastic when worn and would make a unique addition to any collection!
Measurements: The Blackamoor fob hangs 1 3/8" long (including the gold ring for hanging), stands 1 1/8" tall on its own without the bail, and measures 1/2" wide at the center. The base of the fob which holds the seal measures 5/8" tall and 1/2" wide. The black spinel necklace measures 17" long.
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace is excellent. The Blackamoor fob shows some signs of normal surface wear, including a few tiny chips at the neck at cap, but remains in very good condition for its age. There is a natural patina present on the surface of the silver and gold, which is normal for a Victorian piece and adds depth to the design. The glass tassie intaglio is intact and securely set. The rose cut diamonds are all intact, as is the bail for hanging, which is secure. The black spinels are securely strung, and the gold spring ring clasp is in good working condition.