Essex bee

Essex crystal bumblebee

A reverse carved intaglio crystal of a rare subject, a bumblebee, set to a high-carat gold brooch and pendant with granulated decoration, circa 1880. The technique of reverse intaglio crystal carving required great skill, first carving out a domed rock crystal in intaglio and then painting the carving in fine detail. The effect achieved is photo-realistic and the bumblebee appears to be trapped within the crystal. One expects to him to fly off at any minute. The brooch/pendant measures 1 and 1/3 inches by 1 and 1/3 inches and the crystal measures one inch by one inch. Extremely fine intaglio carving, immaculate condition. For identical, see the Hull Grundy collection in the British Museum.