Posted 4 years ago
Another Incolay belt buckle, roughly 3 inches in diameter, perhaps a bit more manly than the previous one. A centaur gallops alongside a nude female who is riding a horse. She may be meant as a bacchante, one of the female followers of the wine god Bacchus. Centaurs, known for their lustfulness, were also among his traditional companions, often depicted putting the moves on the women. Here it appears the centaur is taking hold of the horse's reins and bridle. Is he rescuing her from a runaway horse? Or is he trying to abduct her?
The little sticker that identified the piece as Incolay no doubt was lost or removed long ago, but the fine modeling of the figures and realistic coloration of the material distinguishes it from later competitors, such as Marlestone, as genuine Incolay. The choice of subject and degree of detail also say to me that this was made by the original Incolay Studios, founded by the inventor of Incolay, Elvin Bright, and his wife, rather than by one of the companies that succeeded to the Incolay company after Bright's death.
The figures and scenes on Dante's Museum Masterpiece cufflinks were copied from antique engraved gems. I was unable to find an original for this scene. Incolay artists also created original work in the neoclassical style; I suspect this is an Incolay original.