SOLD: Cavalier King Charles spaniel reverse crystal intaglio pendant, circa 1880


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You know you have found an exquisitely rendered Essex crystal – or reverse crystal intaglio, to give them their correct title – when a living, loving creature appears trapped beneath the clear dome. I just couldn’t resist this one’s adoring gaze.

After examining photographs and 19th-century paintings of spaniel breeds it appears most likely that the English toy spaniel depicted here, with pink tongue tip just visible, was known as a Blenheim spaniel when this was painted in about 1880.

Spaniels with chestnut and white markings had been bred for hunting by the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace – though small spaniels alway were, and have remained, beloved lapdogs.

This one is most realistically depicted, partly because the carving is so deep. It makes the three-dimensional, trompe l’oeil effect very strong.

As years went by carvings became more shallow, requiring less time and less skill. That is one of the reasons these appealing crystal jewels vary so much in price.

Another price variable comes if they have become discoloured by moisture reaching into the setting. This will give a whitish cast to parts of the painting – it makes a big difference to their desirability.

The condition is wonderful here. The pendant setting is appealing – these are more commonly found as brooches – and the gold is high-carat, as you would expect from an early, first-rate example.


• Handmade in 15-carat yellow gold
• Set with a carved and painted rock crystal
• Approximately 2.7cm (just over 1 inch) tall without top ring, 2.3cm (almost 1 inch) wide
• Weight is 6.6 grams
• In excellent antique condition
• Will come in a Karen Deakin gift box (my antique boxes are not for sale)
• Note: some of the other jewellery is for sale separately – please get in touch if you’d like information about any of it

Please examine the photographs carefully – they form part of the description.

I’d be very happy to send more information and images. Layaway available.

I accept returns within 14 days if you’re not delighted with your purchase.

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I accept returns within 14 days if you’re not delighted with your purchase.

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