A Rare c.1920-40 Crystal Ball On Fine Gilt Bronze Stand


Origin: English
Period: Early / Mid Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1920-40
Height: 7.5 inches (Overall)
Diameter: 5 inches (The Sphere)
Circumference: 17.25 inches (The Sphere)
Weight: 3.9 kgs (The Sphere)

The fine quality and well-formed quartz (?) crystal ball sitting on an ornate moulded gilt bronze stand with floral swags surmounted by rams heads with curved horns terminating in tripod scroll feet survives from the second quarter of the twentieth century.

The condition of the sphere is superb with very few blemishes and a good array of small air bubbles can be seen within it. The stand has fared a little less well with one of the swags lacking and it is slightly rickety but beautiful and totally original showing a healthy amount of green patination commensurate with age. The sphere has a small-flattened area to its base so that it can sit on a flat surface unaided if required.

The rams head has long been a symbol of Satan in occult symbolism, greatly revered in Satanism and witchcraft and the floral swags represent obvious themes of growth and nature. This is not to say this combination of motifs lies solely in mysticism, indeed, this arrangement has been seen on English Regency fireplaces and marble urns through to later nineteenth century French blue glass and ormulu bonbbonnieres.

The history of the crystal ball as a device can be traced as far back as to the Medieval Period in central Europe (between 500 – 1500 AD) and in Scandinavia (1050 – 1500 AD). The very ancient art of using reflective surfaces in divination is called scrying and is almost as old as man himself. Queen Elizabeth I consulted Dr John Dee, philosopher, mathematician and alchemist for advice in government and a smoky quartz ball that belonged to Dee is now in the British Museum. Any antique or vintage crystal balls are very desirable especially if they have been used by a well-known reader.

Whether clearing out the phycics mind, releasing energies or entering a trance like state, if you look hard enough into this very desirable orb you won’t see another like it appearing for sale in the near or distant future.