Birds were another favorite subject for reverse carved Essex crystal jewelry. The Victorian pieces in particular portrayed game birds, hunting being a popular sport of the times (as seen in the Essex crystal Animals post.) Although not all of the examples below are antique, all are undoubtedly attractive!
This charming finch(?) perched in a tree is mounted in an 18k gold rope-border brooch with a mother of pearl back; measures 1.75″ diameter.
The 14kt gold brooch mounting is cleverly designed to resemble the pheasant’s natural habitat. Dimensions are approximately 1.4″ wide and slightly more than 1″ high.
This ornate 18k gold brooch showcases a British robin amid ferns and grass plumes. It measures about 1″ wide and almost 1.75″ high.
A pair of 18k button-shaped earrings, 1″ in diameter, allows one to wear a different bird on each ear! They are 18k gold and probably date from the Art Deco era.
Here is a similar pair of earrings from the same era, with a rope border. Showing a cardinal and a bluebird they are American in origin, also 18k, and are slightly larger than 1″. One wonders how heavy this crystal and gold earring would be to wear…
This is the exact same cardinal design as seen in one of the earrings above, but “flipped” in direction. This version is made as a pendant and is 14k gold instead of 18k. No size given but it is probably similar to the earring.
I could hardly believe that this is a ring, and wish that dimensions had been provided. What a marvelous depiction of a pair of European goldfinches feasting on thistles! Elegantly set in gold and accented with 12 small diamonds, this is probably a Victorian piece.
Back to the brooches, this time with a heron standing patiently at the water’s edge waiting for his dinner to swim past. Dimensions are unknown.
This brooch and earrings set is American, and not antique (circa 1950s) but very nice nonetheless with its Red Headed Woodpecker trio set in 14k gold. The brooch is 2″ wide and the earrings are 5/8″ diameter.
Another hungry heron(?) in a pond, fashioned as a brooch. The description gave its height as 5cm (almost 2″) but did not specify whether that measurement includes the fastener.
Off to the beach we go, with this double-crystal Victorian brooch depicting two pair of shorebirds.
This absolutely magnificent gold, pearl and enamel pendant showing a European kingfisher hangs from a gold box chain. I wish measurements had been provided but am happy to simply gaze in awe! Victorian or Edwardian, surely.
Coming back to earth, these simple but elegant cufflinks are set in 18k gold and are 1/2″ in diameter. Each cufflink shows the bird (one duck, one pheasant) on the ground as well as in flight.
Another hunting-motif piece, the four crystals show a snipe, mallard, pheasant, and partridge. The 14k bracelet links are in the form of cartridge shells.
And lastly, another pair of cufflinks showing the same four game birds (pheasant, snipe, duck, and partridge) although at rest rather than in flight as seen in the “hunting” bracelet. These date from the 1890s.
A selection of floral/botanical designs will be featured in the next post.
Other posts in this series about Essex crystal: