RARE Victorian Miniature Carnelian and Turquoise Fob SealIrene Byrne & Co
This fob is 18K yellow gold, under the bail it looks like two wings extend around a trinity of Turquoise. The ideology behind the trinity can be seen in all belief systems across the world whether religious or animistic, the specifics change a bit depending.
The face of the seal is made of hand carved/engraved Carnelian. Around the inner edge of the oval cut Carnelian seal face, the words ‘I TRUST TO ITS CONSTANCY’ are engraved, which is seemingly a bit poetic, or perhaps translated from another language. The seal face also has a carved/engraved tall rock, or perhaps a mountain with a bird on top, reminiscent of a desert or ocean bird.
Around the base of the fob, there is engraving in the gold that looks like either a Semitic language, or a pattern that has worn off a little due to ageing over plus 100 years, and therefore looks like a Semitic language.
Coincidentally, if you look up the words ‘Trust’ and ‘Permanence’ in Arabic calligraphy…the patterns resonate. Ancient Middle Eastern philosophers and poets frequently contemplated on the subject of permanence, aka constancy.
During the Victorian era, within the upper echelons of society in London, the early spiritualist movement came to be, and we can see evidence of this trend in Victorian design. Symbolism of many belief systems such as the Hebrew ‘Mizpah’ and the Hindu Swastika popped up on the design scene expressing the welcoming of omnism, as Friedrich Nietzsche declared ‘God is dead’.
It could be that this beautiful fob was birthed from this era of mysticism. It could be, that this seal was used as a signature of securing communications between a circle of entrusted and loyal seekers.
In any case, we adore it.
Design Era: Mid Victorian
Gemstone: Carnelian and Turquoise
Material: 18ct Yellow Gold
Victorian Period (1837 - 1901):
The Victorian Period defined by none other than Queen Victoria herself, had three stages - the Romantic, the Grand and the Aesthetic. It was during the Romantic era that Queen Victoria married her Prince, Albert. Sentimental motifs such as; hearts, lover’s knots, flowers, bows, crescent moons and particularly serpents (which was subject to Queen Victoria’s engagement ring which represented enduring love) became extremely popular in jewellery design. Cameos, Enamelling and the use of bright coloured gemstones such as; garnets, amethysts, turquoise, pearls and diamonds gave way to the creation of jewellery that was beginning to speak a symbolic language of its own. The Grand era was a sombre period which saw Queen Victoria mourning the death of her beloved husband Albert. It encompassed 20 years during which time Victoria would only wear black and mourning jewellery. As a result the Whitby Jet industry flourished and onyx and deeper coloured garnets rose in popularity. Rings, lockets and brooches were commissioned with compartments for a lock of a loved one’s hair and were often engraved with the person’s name, age and date of death. The Aesthetic era saw a return to the light-heartedness of the Romantic Era. The discoveries being made through archaeology led to an Etruscan Revival with Greek, Roman and Renaissance influences becoming apparent in jewellery design as well as symbols of good luck and fortune.