A Day

A story presented by

Scene 1:

It was a bright cold day with glassy surfaces that looked hard.
Into the square frame he stood as if in a dream.

What emerged was precisely what he expected to find: a reflection of memory images. Contemplating his face in the photo frame he waited.

1960s lucite and chrome 3 image photo frame

By the steady hands of his watch, he listened to time. Every day for the past sixteen days he saw her. Silver lingered in the crease of
an open book.

Rolex burlwood dial, Jubilee bracelet Miniature
oar English university trophy, sterling silver.

So absorbed in his thoughts
he hardly saw the platinum catch-all, the key, or the revelation locked inside those lapis lazuli cufflinks tossed unmistakably in cold blue.

Hans Hanson catch-all. Mid-century, Danish sterling silver. Stirrup money clip, by Hermès. Padlock keyring, sterling silver " Tie bar-slide " Round lapis lazuli cufflinks" Square cufflinks, two tone rose and yellow gold, diamond."

Only by whirling on his heel could he hope to comprehend
the panorama.

Shoe horn, circa 1930. American sterling silver
Scene 2:

He remained.Trapped in that enormous room,
unmistakably familiar in feeling yet so peculiar.

Above the mantle was
displayed an Austrian hound
of impeccable integrity.

Hagenauer sculpture, 1930

His gaze fell on the letter opener. By accident she had learnt more about his life from the contents of that letter than anywhere.

Dunhill letter opener with lighter top, circa 1950

Cleopatra’s eye reflected
the sun. Through the hypnotism
of precious metals there
emerged a dark slender shadow.

Cleopatra’s eye magnifying glass. Mid-century, gold plated
Hermès weighted pen. Silver plated.

A lighter presented itself, smooth to the touch
it gave the impression of
intelligent company.

Table lighter St Dupont, circa 1960. Gold plate
Scene 3:

All this time light was receding from the room.

“I should explain why I spend so much time here”, said the silhouette. Leaves moved like shadows across her eyes.

Hermès rope bottle opener. Plated silver.

It’s not too late to turn back. Time moved with faint sounds.

Venini hourglass. Hand-blown lurid Murano glass.

He unscrewed the telescopic cup, rolled and remained still. Black eyes on the dice prophesied a new cycle.

Telescopic cup, J. E. Cauldwell. Gold plated. Dice,
Cartier for America. Vitreous enamel glass, silver

Staring down at the varnished surface her mouth worried him while her eyes examined the gold cufflink.

Audemar Piguet evening watch. gold plated, Roman dial, alligator strap
Scene 4:

Everything went crashing black.

Pale graceful hands placed
the gold stud box delicately
on the table.

Men’s Edwardian jewellery box, 1910. Gold plated.
Mid-century British cigar ashtray. Sterling silver and crystal.

He lit a match to make sure the watch had really stopped. Smoke lingered from its vesta case.

Realist wrapped tobacco leaf march vesta. Silver.

As the travel clock neared
one the figure vanished into dappled shadows.

Art Deco Jaeger LeCoultre travel clock.
Gold and silver plated. Retailed by Aspray.

On the newly varnished table two bronze shot cups sat alive like in a dream.

Tooth shot cup by Foundwell. Bronze and silver plated.
Set of 4, 3 silver 1 gold. Heath & Midleton champagne decanters circa 1900.
Sterling silver and glass.
The End

A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy, creative direction OK-RM,
notes by Kate O’Brien and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy,
creative direction OK-RM
notes by Kate O’Brien
and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

Early and Rare Sterling Silver Gorham Martini Mixing Bucket

Golf Cocktail Shaker
and Matching Golf Bag Cup

Sterling Silver Woven Bottle Coaster



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A sterling silver, gilt lined, hand engraved business card case set with a stunning "Essex" crystal, or reverse crystal intaglio, of a salmon. This is an exquisite example of a large sized business or "calling card" case from Edwardian England. This size, that comfortably fits both credit card and business cards is much harder to find as the average width of a calling card from this time was much more narrow.

Set into the center of this piece is a good sized cabochon rock crystal with the subject matter of a  painted salmon. Known as both Essex Crystals or reverse intaglios, 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 colour. The image is then etched into the stone with a scribe pencil. From here begins the process of hand engraving. As many as 250 tools may be used in order to create each miniature masterpiece. 

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, reflecting light back through the crystal. 

The result is a magnificent, almost three dimensional, portrait that comes alive. The numerous 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.

The subject matter of this fish, and the wonderful hand engraved script around it tells a wonderful story of itself. "May 14th 1910 Usk 22lbs". Not much more was needed for the gentlemen or lady anglers that were able to land such a beast! The capture of the prize fish would live long in the memory, without the creation of this stunning commemorative case.  On the gilt washed  interior is a  personalisation "E.R from J.A.R"  which  further adds to the  beautiful story of this eventful day. 

The River Usk    rises on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain, in Wales, in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. One of the most beautiful parks in Great Britain. Initially forming the boundary between Carmarthenshire and Powys, it flows north into Usk Reservoir, then east by Sennybridge to Brecon before turning southeast to flow by Talybont-on-Usk, Crickhowelland Abergavenny after which it takes a more southerly course.

Beyond the eponymous town of Usk it passes the Roman Legionary fortress of Caerleonto flow through the heart of the city of Newport and into the Severn estuary at Uskmouth beyond Newport at Newport Wetlands.

The Usk has long been a noted salmon and trout fishing river. Salmon of over 30 pounds may still be caught. In 1999 the river had the highest estimated salmon egg deposition of any river south of Cumbriaand the Scottish rivers, and exceeded its spawning target.  The river has recently been rated as the best fly fishing  water in Wales for salmon and inside the United Kingdom's Top Ten.

Cases such as these make for beautiful wallets today. They allow a number of credit cards, ID and any other card needed on a regular basis to be carried in a neat, clean and tidy way. They also prevent the risk of contactless cards being cloned while in the pocket.

The card case was made in Birmingham, England, in 1909. It has the makers marks of Samuel Walton Smith & Co., established in Birmingham's silver quarter in 1886. This is certainly reflected in the quality and beauty of this piece. The condition of the piece is excellent throughout, and shows no signs of damage.  A true collectors item for anyone with a love for fishing or engraved crystals.

Price $2,695.00


Item Dimensions
3.5 inches (8.89cm)
2.5 inches (6.35cm)