Two Late 19thC Dutch Diamond Cutting Machines c.1890-1900

Origin: Dutch
Period: Late 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890
The Larger: 13.5” w x 7” d x 7.5” h (resting position)
The Smaller: 13” w x 5” d x 7” h (resting position)

The sculptural nineteenth century diamond cutting machines of brass and cast iron construction, each with a cutting wheel and lead-weighted brass counterweights, used for the cutting of diamonds in workshops in Amsterdam, and surviving from the zeniths of the nineteenth century.

The condition of the machines is entirely original with expected amounts of associated wear and a beautiful colour to the brass. The saws have some mis-shapening as expected. The moving parts are all in working order and complete.

Finally, a new craft was added to the repertory of cutting techniques: that of diamond sawing. This addition to cutting techniques completed all the stages in diamond cutting as we know it today: cleaving, sawing, grinding and polishing. The diamond cutting centers of Antwerp and Amsterdam were comprised of predominantly Jewish owned and operated businesses. The Holocoust decimated the Jewish population during World War II and the diamond cutting industry in these two cities never fully recovered. In the years following the war, diamond cutting centers were erected elsewhere with Israel becoming a major player, and later, India also became a noted diamond cutting nation.

Now wonderfully interesting and beautifully sculptural table-top elements to interest and delight in.