Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Who's a Good Little Doggy?

Carved quartz with diamond accents: Lang Antiques

Carved gemstones have fascinated jewelry fans for centuries. The art of stone carving, whether for solid materials found in cameos like shell or stone is a formidable skill. And although many collectors aren't aware of this, translucent and transparent gemstones have been put under the carver's care for centuries.

Here we see an exceptional carving made into a captivating ring. The material is quartz which is soft enough to allow the artist to deftly create the realism he wants, but hard enough to be successfully used in a ring which gets a bit of rough handling from time to time.

Translucent jewels have found their way into carved adornment for centuries, which is all the more extraordinary when one considers that sophisticated carving tools are a more recent addition to the jeweler's bench.



Notice this realistic face on our model pooch. He or is it a she, looks attentively up to the viewer. Anyone who's had the pleasure of owning a furry companion knows that look of utter focus from their canine pal, especially when food is involved.

The jeweler used diamonds for accents on the eyes. Diamonds take in light and reflect it out a thousand directions so it creates an adoring wink with the slightest movement of the hand.



The next time you come into proximity of a carved gemstone item, ask a few questions:

Is the subject matter rendered fully in detail, and realistically?
Are there finely finished corners, and angles showing attention to detail in the finish work? And finally, is the perspective accurate to the extent the stone allows, so that it mimics real life?



Our little pooch here has beautifully crafted hair that falls the way it would appear in real life. The artist took the time to create depth so that some portions of hair come out farther than others, much the same as if you were looking at Fido in real life. These are among the questions you ask as you begin to appreciate gemstone carvings and learn to discern between commercial work done for the tourist market, and true skillful artisan craftsmanship that makes each carving a bonafide work of art.

We think this little pooch is a very very good doggy.

Images: Lang Antiques

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