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Georgian Cupid as Auctioneer "Who Bids Most" Intaglio Seal Fob

Georgian Cupid as Auctioneer "Who Bids Most" Intaglio Seal Fob



DATE: Georgian, c.1800

Remarkable antique seal fob dating from the turn of the 19th century, circa 1800. The base is an oval chalcedony panel, intricately intaglio carved with a humorous scene and motto: cupid stands with a heart in one hand, and a gavel in the other beneath the words WHO BIDS MOST. A cheeky play on the idea of value/values: presumably the "bid" isn't actually a cash bid in the sense of an auction (as in monetary value), but rather who is willing to bid the most affection, kindness, love, etc. - important relationship values as opposed to monetary value. I guess we should see cupid here more as a judge (of character?) than an auctioneer, which is what the motto alludes to on the surface of it.

It's reverse carved to make a seal imprint in molten wax, and set in a supremely elegant fob mount. Originally intended to be worn on the end of a pocket watch chain, but looks great as a necklace - a solitaire pendant, or as part of a larger charm/pendant collection.




Base: 2.1 x 1.9

Height: 2.8cm




No marks present, tests as pinchbeck