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Workshop Series: December 2015

December 15, 2015
O S C A R   H E Y M A N 
  W O R K S H O P   S E R I E S :   D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 5 
  The Story Behind Oscar Heyman’s Masterfully Rendered
  Jewelry Backs
In 1950, a newly made swordfish brooch was a sight to behold: a linear-silhouetted number boasting a hard-to-find belemnite (opalized prehistoric squid), a diamond-encrusted bill, and a gold dorsal fin rivaling the size of a catamaran sail. The piece also held a secret.
On its underside rested a repeating pattern of hand-engraved scales so lifelike they could inspire one to wrongly recoil in anticipation of a clammy touch. But this fish story is no exaggerated tale of craftsmanship. The Marlin’s back side juxtaposes the centuries-old tradition of hand engraving with modern high-polished gold-a masterful presentation that paved the way for a jolly whale protégé. 


This blubbery fellow has a Lightning Ridge black opal showing a butterfly pattern and an open mouth poised to make a snack of a smaller peer.
This piece also shares a literal back story: a carved school of fish gliding leisurely through a pool of yellow gold. 
       But why bother with the back-a side no one ever sees?
It’s a hallmark of quality and speaks to the raison d’etre of
Oscar Heyman’s heritage: make it right the first time and you’ll
 have an heirloom your children will fight over, fishermen or not.