Reverse carved crystal was a technique created by cutting pieces of rock quartz crystal into a convex form and then polishing it into a cabochon shape. An image is carved into the flat side of the crystal and then hand painted. From the front, the image appears to be almost three dimensional. Many different images were used in reverse carved crystal jewelry and artwork, but animals were some of the most common motifs.
A reverse carved crystal stick pin from the Art Deco (ca1920) era, signed by Maison Birks! This rock crystal cabochon rests on a shimmery mother of pearl background and is set within a decorative platinum bezel. The carefully hand-carved and painted image is incredibly detailed, portraying a chestnut brown horse which is in mid-jump with a rider on its back dressed in colorful soft blue equestrian attire. The bezel is decorated with a scrolled motif border and lovely milgraining details the edge. The piece rests at the top of an 18kt yellow gold stick pin, and the smoothly polished closed back is stamped "18K," PLATINUM" and "BIRKS." The pin would look fabulous worn on a favorite garment and is perfect for the revers carved crystal or equestrian enthusiast!
Measurements: The stickpin measures approximately 2 1/4" in total length. The crystal cabochon measures about 1/2" in diameter and is a little less than 1/4" wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the stick pin is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the platinum and gold setting. The crystal is intact and securely set and the carved and painted image is in excellent condition. The pin is secure and in good working order.