Here at Deakin & Francis we have been producing beautiful gold cufflinks since we first started in 1786. Our stunning range of hand-painted rock crystal design cufflinks are the ultimate luxurious accessory for those looking to add an extra special touch to their attire. These cufflinks showcase the uniquely brilliant skill and craftsmanship used to create these beautiful items.
The art of hand painting rock crystal is hundreds of years old and is a highly skilled profession. It is often referred to as Essex Crystals, after William Essex. William and his brother Alfred worked for Charles Muss, who was the enamel painter to William IV. William is well known for painting numerous miniature reproductions of pictures.
Starting with a piece of high-quality rock crystal our craftsman will deeply engrave a three-dimensional image to the inside of the stone. Upon creating the two or four sides of the cufflink set, he will then start the delicate painting process.
Oil paint is delicately and skilfully applied inside the image by hand, using special extra fine paintbrushes. Because the artist is painting in reverse (i.e. highlights first) and on such a minute scale. It is necessary to allow days of drying between each application of colour to create an incredibly small and crisp 3D image that springs to life. Each painting is original as they are hand carved and also hand painted by the same artist.
Upon completion we back the rock crystal with a piece of mother of pearl and mount it in an 18ct yellow or white gold setting. The mother of pearl helps the delicate painting to stand out, whilst giving it an opulent feel and sheen, complemented by the luxurious 18ct gold.
Animals are usually a very popular choice with painters as they can produce good likenesses of pets. Our 18ct yellow gold crystal horse head cufflinks and 18ct white gold crystal dolphin cufflinks are some of our favourites. Novelty, sporting and of course the classic “Road to Ruin” are also featured in our range.
The effect of this art form is truly amazing, showing a full colour, three-dimensional image whichever way you inspect the crystal. There is no doubt that the tremendous amount of skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating these stunning paintings is something to be admired, just as much as the final pieces themselves.
If you want to learn more about our rock crystal cufflinks or speak to our team about a bespoke design, please contact us.