A magnificent pierced gold bangle set with the head of Bacchus finely carved in bloodstone. c.1880

GBP 55,000.00

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Object Description

A magnificent Victorian gold and hardstone bracelet circa 1880, set to the centre with a beautifully carved piece of bloodstone by the 19th century sculptor and gem engraver Henri Burdy in the form of the head of Bacchus the Roman god of wine, agriculture and revelry, his jolly face with thick curled beard and moustache crowned with a wreath of vine leaves and bunches of grapes, the bracelet of finely pierced gold in an undulating scroll pattern, embellished to each side of the head with scrolls of rose-cut diamonds, with concealed hinged opening to the side.

Object History

Henri Auguste Burdy was a French sculptor and gem engraver. Born in Grenoble in 1833, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and in 1863 was awarded second prize in the Prix de Rome for a medal ‘Bacchus Forcing a Panther to Drink.’ His portrait medals were highly regarded and shown at Salons and exhibitions, as were his busts and statuettes. Later on, he began to experiment with carving in gemstones and he grew ever more skilled in this area producing carvings for many clients including the jewellery house Boucheron. One of the most notable of these was an emerald lion’s head that the firm went on to set in a gold belt buckle featuring two chased gold panthers. Another important emerald that Burdy carved was that in the form of Julius Caesar which was believed to have been in the collection of Napoleon. The rough emerald weighed over 1000 carats to begin with and the finished piece 225 carats. But perhaps his most revered gem carving work was the oval two layered cameo he created for Boucheron depicting the charge of the cavalry at Rrischoffen. Measuring just 2.5cm long it was carved with such mastery of skill that, using a magnifying glass, it was possible to read the regiment number on the horse’s saddle. In Henri Vever’s opus ‘French Jewellery of the Nineteenth Century’ he refers to the pieces Burdy carved as “tiny masterpieces”. It is clear from his work that he was a highly skilled and meticulous craftsman able to breathe life into stone so we’re delighted to be able to offer this wonderful bangle for sale, it will be a wonderful addition to any jewellery connoisseurs’ collection.

Object Condition

Very fine

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

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+44 (0)20 7493 8904
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Dealer Location

52-53 Burlington Arcade
London W1J 0HH
United Kingdom