Essex Crystal - actually not fine cut glass from Romford
Not actually fine cut glass from Romford. A cabochon hand polished rock crystal. OK, so cabochon domed stone polished to allow light access to a that generally is too soft of included to cut or facett.
Cutting pretty obvious, facetting in an angle sliced cut again to grab as much light as possible into the stone.
Back to the plot, after making a cabochon stone, it is then reversed carved intaglio into the back of the flat side of stone, thereby creating a picture, this in turn is hand-painted to accentuate the depth and detail. With a capping slice of mother of pearl to add luminescence and depth to the intaglio. Giving a wonderful deep 3 dimensional effect.
Invented in Belgium in the early 19th famed for its rock crystal mines, I guess they deserve to famous for more than Poirot or waffles. OK the chocolate is actually pretty good. I digress, Thomas Cook a name to conjure with brought the technique over to Britain in the c1860 and really until the time of mass produced colour photographs, was used extensively by the Victorians a way of making pictures crests etc.
Always at a premium and a very popular collectors field we are lucky enough to have some examples listed on www.topbananaantiques.com
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