Victorian 14kt Essex Crystal Nautical Flag Lettering Pendant
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.
This reverse carved crystal pendant from the Victorian (ca1880) era is a wonderful example of this beautiful craft! Crafted in 14kt yellow gold, the large Essex crystal cabochon rests on a shimmery mother of pearl background, and is bezel set within a lovely bezel frame, encircled by twisted rope border. The image inside is incredibly artistic, depicting 26 colorful sailor's flags beside their corresponding letters. In the code used for maritime flag signaling, each flag symbolizes a different letter of the alphabet, and the arrangement of flags can be used to spell out messages. The pendant hangs from a large fluted bail at the top and stamped on the back "14K" next to an "S" indicating the maker's mark. A fantastic collector's piece, it would be perfect paired with a lovely chain for the nautical or Essex crystal lover!
Measurements: The piece measures 1 1/4" in diameter, hangs 1 5/8" long, including the bail, and is 1/4" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting, bail, or to the reverse carved crystal and hand painted image.