Antique British fox hunting brooch with diamonds, around 1900
Reineke Fuchs, the cunning, shrewd, deft master of his trade, is accused at the beginning of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's poem of the same name by all the animals of the kingdom of committing only crime, theft, and fraud. Even the poor little dog Wackerlos, starving and poor and "nothing left him / Than a bit of sausage in a winter bush; Reineke hab auch das ihm genommen!" In the course of the poem, nevertheless, by cunning and wit, the one so scolded always triumphs over his enemies, and is at last made Chancellor of the Empire. Goethe's poem was meant as a mockery of the courtly society of his time. It is probably no coincidence that fox and nobility are linked by many other ties - not least in the fox hunt! Many generations enjoyed the hunt for the fox and as a social occasion the hunt was the centre of the season in the countryside. No wonder that jewellery also came into being, which could not be missing on these occasions. The exquisite brooches presented here could have been used on such an occasion - or they simply pay homage to the speed and cleverness of Master Reineke? Made of 9-karat gold, the brooch depicts a fox fleeing from a pack of wild hounds. Will he escape his pursuers? The animal's body is covered in bright silver and fully set with white diamond roses, while small red rubies form the eyes. The brooch was created towards the end of the Victorian era, in the years around 1900. It came to us in the southern English county of Wiltshire. The piece of jewellery is in first-class condition and a stylish companion on any hunt - be it for the fox, a business deal, a drink or "just" a successful evening among friends.
The exact origins of the Essex Crystal are unknown; however, corresponding pieces of jewellery can be observed for the first time since the middle of the 19th century in England. Preference was given to the depiction of dogs, cats, horses and hunting motifs. The craftsmanship required to achieve the lifelike realism of the images was enormous. The small portrait miniatures were created using a series of techniques and steps. First, a clear rock crystal or piece of glass is cut into a cabochon, with a domed front and a flat back. Then the motif is cut into the back as a negative shape or intaglio to achieve the desired three-dimensional tromp l'loeil effect. The resulting image is now painstakingly hand-painted, reproducing even the smallest details with admirable fidelity to nature. Finally, the depiction is provided with a thin background, e.g. of mother-of-pearl, and the crystal is then set into a piece of jewellery. Like so many elaborate and labor-intensive processes, the craftsmanship of Essex Crystal existed in its pure form for only a few decades. By the early 20th century, cheaper pressed glass versions were replacing the painstakingly cut rock crystal and hand-painted miniatures. However, the merits of the original Essex Crystal remain unsurpassed to this day and are prized by collectors for their beauty. Above all, the detailed cutting and superb, multi-colored painting distinguish the best work. Often the value of an Essex Crystal can be measured not only by their naturalistic finish but also by the amazing depth of representation revealed in the side view.
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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.