Essex Crystal Bumblebee
A reverse intaglio crystal of a rare subject, a bumblebee, set to a high-carat gold brooch 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. The brooch measures 1 and 1/3 inches by 1 and 1/3 inches and the crystal measures one inch by one inch. Extremely fine crystal carving, immaculate condition. For identical, see Hull Grundy collection in the British Museum.