The Infant Samuel at Prayer

Victorian Gem after Sir Joshua Reynolds in gold setting, around 1855

In the 1850s, the Briton George Baxter developed a new printing technique, the Baxterotype. Its deep tones and use of sepia ink made it particularly suitable for graphically reproducing paintings with a pronounced chiaroscuro. Only 15 prints were made by Baxter using this technique, and one of them was a copy after Sir Joshua Reynold's depiction of the Old Testament prophet Samuel as a boy at prayer. Reynold had painted this famous work as early as 1776 and it is now in the Tate Britain in London. It was already widely known in Baxter's time, but it was not until it was reproduced as a Baxterotype that it achieved international fame. Just as the baxterotype was then being published - in 1854 - a Briton must have set off on a trip to Italy. In the Bay of Naples he had the present gem cut as a souvenir, as did many travellers to Italy. This explains why the gem cutter did not choose a classical, mythological motif from one of his pattern books, but took one of the paintings by the former president of the British Royal Academy of Arts as his model. Back in Great Britain, the traveller then had the gem mounted in a gold setting as a brooch. Not only the sculptural volutes and tendrils, but also the hollow gold work are typical for the mid-19th century, and so we can safely date the brooch to around 1855.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.