Ariel on a bat’s back
Fine quality Horned Helmet shell carving set to a 15 carat gold brooch circa 1840. The subject is Ariel riding on a bat’s back from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This depiction of Ariel is after a painting by Joseph Severn in the V and A Museum. From Strictures on Pictures, A Letter from Michael Angelo Titmarsh, Esq.  describing Severn’s Ariel : Look yonder and admire a most beautiful, fantastic Ariel. Merry Ariel lies at his ease and whips with gorgeous peacock’s feathers his courser, flapping lazy through the golden evening sky. The cameo engraver has skilfully rendered the gossamer wings of the bat and the sense of the peacock feathers’ movement. The brooch measures 2 inches by 1 and 2/3 inches. A charming rendition of an unusual subject.