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Amuletic Stuart Crystal -- Lord's Prayer

In Fine Jewelry > Religious Jewelry > Show & Tell.
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (103 items)

    This slide is one of the most amazing pieces of jewelry I own! It is a Stuart Crystal slide, dated 1692, with a ground of royal blue enamel, gold wire and plaited hair, overlaid with a miniature version of the Lord's Prayer, written by hand on a tiny disc of paper less than one centimeter in diameter, all set beneath a cabochon rock crystal. Let me repeat: the paper it is written on is less than one centimeter!

    This slide measures 3/4" x 3/4". There is some loss to the blue enamel and there is a 19th brooch fitting to the back with the original slide fittings removed.

    Detail of the Lord's Prayer

    Designed to demonstrate the astonishing skill of the calligrapher, the writing is barely decipherable without the aid of magnification. A person more expert than I am took the close-up of the writing.

    Miniature writing samples of this type showed the characteristic 17th century interest in scientific experiment and technical virtuosity. Masters in the art trained for seven years to develop their calligraphy skills in miniature. Such pieces held more than curiosity value, as religious inscriptions were often held to protect the owner against misfortune.

    A similar example, in a ring, is in Case 20, Religion and Ritual, in the Enlightenment Gallery of the British Museum. Evidently considered a remarkable piece early in its history, it was acquired by Sir Hans Sloane, whose collections became the foundation of the British Museum in 1753. It is the only example of this work in the museum.

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    1. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Extraordinary. Thank you.
    2. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      I can perfectly understand why you consider this piece to be the most amazing of your collection!
      Better than most rutilating diamond in my opinion :-)

      Bluboi is very precious too! I read his story on your blog years ago, bravo!!!
    3. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 6 years ago
      WOW... Museum Piece... I am curious to know how you acquired it... I love those stories.
    4. Bluboi Bluboi, 6 years ago
      I have two very special jewelry dealers (one in the US and one in London) who keep an eye out for me, as they know what I collect. One of them is a history major as am I, and we are well-aligned in our high interest in the historically unique and rare pieces which have a story to tell. In addition, there are several very good dealers I know who periodically notify me when they find something interesting. Every now and then I buy at auction.

      I do not have the eye or luck to find the hidden gems as Kiwi and some of you others, nor am I good at repairs (I can chase a rhinestone around my desk for hours!).

      This particular wonder came from my London "heroin dealer" (as I call them as they feed my addiction!).
    5. valentino97 valentino97, 6 years ago
      This is so beautiful and thanks for sharing it, the comments and research too.
    6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Extraordinary !!!!
    7. Gillian, 5 years ago
      Amazing piece of history that happens to be beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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