Jewelry from the 1600's! A so called Stuart crystal depicting Cupid's arrow smithy

Jewelry from the 1600's!

A so called Stuart crystal
depicting Cupid's arrow smithy

Gold estate ring, bejeweled hedgehog set with diamonds and multi colored semi precious stones from the antique jewelry collection of www.adin.be
(click the picture to read and see more about this Stuart crystal slide)
This type of jewel is called a Stuart crystal. Stuart crystals were mounted in all sort of jewelry, from pins, rings, slides, bracelets and more. Most of the Stuart crystals that survived over the ages are the slide variety, like this one. They became popular in England after 1649, with the execution of the then King of England, Charles I. His loyalists, (the royalists) who wanted to show their sympathy for their fallen monarch would wear small slides set with his portrait or a tress of hair and his initials (in fine gold wire) underneath a faceted crystal.

These "memento mori" jewels set the spark for a fashion among the aristocracy for memorial crystals. Later in the 17th Century these crystals were also embellished with all sorts of Cupid scenes like this one. The scene depicted here is about three cupids working in what can be recognized as a smithy. One is standing in front of the fire and the two others are hammering on an anvil. In the green enameld floor of the smithy, in bas-relief, there is a Latin (?) text reading something like "IO CLOMEAL".

The scene is set under a smooth domed faceted rock crystal to a border of Scottish river pearls. Made in the fashionable way of the late 1600's and rather easily recognisable as from that era, the backside of the jewel is enameled in a pink, black and white botanical design (leaf-motifs) much favored in the 17th century.

To find a Stuart crystal slide in this quality with these colors and the depicted scene is really rare, even for us. It is with great pride that we can offer this true collectors item here at our site. When wearing it as a slide it will look beautiful on a simple black velvet ribbon around the neck. And although born as a slide, somewhere in the last 50 of its approximate 350 years lifetime a system was added to wear it as a brooch. The craftman who did it, did a good job as the way the system is attached is reversible. It can be taken on and off reasonably easy and then worn as one wishes, as a brooch or as a slide.

Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team

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