"A pair of Essex crystal, or reverse intaglio, cufflinks in eighteen carat gold set with two carved crystal panels with a Bulldog carved and hand painted in. This type of technique requires a mastery of both hand carving of hard stones, as well as the ability to paint on a microscopic and detailed level. The process begins with selecting crystals that are cut and polished into a flat back and cabochon front, in order to help magnify the final painting.
The procedure could take as many as twenty different grades of polish, and the entire process is done by hand. Once the stone is shaped, the design is drawn on the reverse side of the crystal with water color. The image is then etched into the stone with a scribe pencil. Form here beings the process of hand engraving. As many as 250 of tools may be used to in order to create this master . The crystal is carved with a paste made from a combination of oil and diamond dust. Once the carving has been completed the painting commences. Just as in the carving phase, the painting is done in reverse. Sometimes the brushes that are used have only a single hair.
Once the painting is complete the painting is backed with a piece of mother of pearl that helps illuminate the work from the back. The result is a magnificent, almost three dimensional, portrait that comes alive. The hours spent in completing just one of these miniature works of art is very hard to imagine today, and there are only a handful of artists on the planet today that are able to get anywhere near the quality of the finest early carving and paintings. This pair are English made, and date circa 1910."