Reverse crystal jewelry is a favorite of many horse jewelry collectors. Combining the traditional elements of fine jewelry — ornate settings, fine metal, excellent craftsmanship and design — with an artist’s finest offerings, images of horses painted on the flat back of a specially prepared domed rock crystal, each mount rendered both in miniature and in high detail. Thin layers of mother of pearl are applied on the back of the painted image to keep it safe and to ensure that the back of the piece is (nearly) as attractive as the front. Reverse crystal horse jewelry has a lot of appeal. Here’s a segment on the PBS Road Show from 2005 about reverse crystal jewelry.
Reverse crystal jewelry first appeared during the Victorian era and was produced through the 1940’s in great numbers. Then the trend died off, although there are still a few artisans producing reverse crystal work today. Finding good estate pieces takes patience and perserverance; fortitude will eventually be rewarded. The crystals are easily scratched, so you want to carefully consider condition when you’re buying.
This three reverse crystal bay horse head bracelet is a spectacular example of what you want to look for when you’re choosing a reverse crystal piece. There are three crystals, and each is clear and bright — not cloudy nor flawed with age. The horse heads are attractive, and the bridle nicely rendered: a sharp, smart looking aesthetic, particularly when you consider the gold hunt horns framing each crystal. Stirrups flank the crystal, but the ends of the bracelet are golden leathers; the type of detail work that absolutely makes a piece of reverse crystal horse jewelry memorable!