A week or so later I had a chance encounter with a lovely, lovely woman here in Kansas City. Blonde and elegant, clad in crisp white blouse, I could not help but notice the fabulous pin at her throat. A large oval dog portrait of a once beloved spaniel, nearly two inches from top to bottom, beautifully set and encircled with seed pearls. My muse gave me a poke.
So off I went on-line to see what I could see. Portrait jewelry, be it animals or people, was very popular with the Victorians.
I found a good selection of enamel and Essex Crystal jewelry. The Essex Crystal pieces were sculpted into a dome on one side, carved out to create the portrait on the back, then painted in reverse.
Most of the settings I uncovered were simple pins or stick pins, but the Pinscher, above, is encircled by his lead.
The pricing seemed to range quite a bit from very dear to whim-worthy.
But who doesn't have someone on their list who's mad for his or her dog?
Be it his noble hunter?
Or her rascally twins?
And while it may not resemble your pooch exactly, you have to appreciate those sentimental Victorians.
They were not afraid to wear their heart on their sleeves. Or lapels.
Surely, you can't look and those eyes and not bring Lassie home.