Although this fob makes a versatile piece of jewelry today, this was considered an 'intaglio seal' in the Georgian era - and even way before. An intaglio seal is a 'stamp' of sorts that is used to secure all types of hand-written communication. The letter is either scrolled up - as in ancient Egyptian and Roman times - and hot wax is melted on the edge of the scroll or paper, to secure it from prying eyes. The stamp was used to denote from whom, or from where the communication was coming from.
Seals were quite popular in Georgian and Victorian times when the art of handwritten correspondence was at its best and most prevalent. During these two eras, communication between and among the royal and higher classes became more common, and indeed even among the middle and lower classes who could read, letters of communication became more common. As a result, seals were in high use during this time, and most often were created to be used either as a desk seal or set within fobs that were hung on the other end of pocket watches, which was a quite fashionable style in Georgian and Victorian life.
This rare example features a figure 8 ouroboros, a gnostic and alchemical symbol that expresses the unity of all things, material and spiritual, as well as a massive octagonal smokey quartz intaglio shield. Plenty of history, symbolism, and style in this piece, making it an overall great addition to absolutely any look or collection.
Materials and Features: 12k gold, smokey quartz
Age/Origin: Georgian, c. 1820
Measurements: 35mm in height, 16.4 grams
Condition: Excellent condition.
Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.