For those of you veteran collectors, Stuart Crystals are the Holy Grail of antique jewelery collecting and are among the most sought after pre Georgian 17th century treasures.
During the late 1600's to early 1700's, faceted rock crystal with gold wire of initials (known as "ciphers"), a lock of hair, skulls, or sometimes more complicated designs were briefly in fashion. They were usually made into a slide, a pendant, a pair of cufflinks, and in our case, shirt buttons!
The hand cut rock crystal is in its original rub over silver setting, they have pink foil at the backs with tiny initials done in impossibly fine gold wire.
Both of the initial crystals are in PRISTINE condition as you can see the ciphers crisp clear through the crystal. The pink foil does show some discoloring but nothing too bad. There are some minor wear to the surface of the crystal magnified by my photos, these are expected for their over 300 years of history, and the crystals are otherwise in good condition free of any chips or other damage.
The silver (test) settings have this beautiful patina on them, I suspect the piece might be converted from something else very early on but I don't know for sure.
This is a relative larger pair, each crystal stud measures approx. 7/16" by 7/16" or 11mm by 11mm, they are 3/8" or 9mm high.
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