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 Its purpose is to decorate or add weight to the watch chain itself making it easier for the watch to be withdrawn from a pocket.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 often 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 magnificent intaglio fob from the Victorian (ca1880s) era! Crafted in 15kt yellow gold, this substantially sized fob adorns an oval shaped rock crystal platform at the base of a fantastic slithering handle. The clear stone is faceted to create a prism-like effect and features a wonderful intaglio image carved into the center. The intaglio appears to represent the profile of a trusted dog emerging from a royal-looking crown, and surrounding the regal image is an oval-shaped looped belt and buckle featuring an inscribed Latin phrase. The carved phrase, "NE TE QUAESIVERIS EXTRA" translates to "Do Not Seek Outside Yourself" or "Look Within" and is written in a lovely script. The bezel and open-back frame that surrounds the crystal is graced with lovely etching that creates a wonderful textural appeal. The eye-catching handle is designed to look like the body of a slithering snake that has formed various loops and ends with the head and tail resting atop the underside of the stone intaglio. A fabulous engraved detail representing scales decorates the entire body of the serpent, which has a smoothly polished finish that reflects the light beautifully. At the top of the piece, the snake's body curls to form a large circular bail, perfect for hanging the piece from a favorite chain. A spectacular Victorian piece, it is perfect for any snake lover or fob collector!
Measurement: The fob hangs approximately 1 5/8" long, including the bail at the top, and measures about 1 1/4" tall and 1" wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the piece is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting. The rock crystal intaglio is intact and securely set. There are a few minor inclusions within the rock crystal, but no serious surface chips or scratches.