Mouth-blown cut crystal has been a uniquely Irish industry since the 17th century. This sparkling necklace showcases sparkling cut crystal gems, set in rhodium-plated sterling silver. Handcrafted at Killarney Crystal, a third-generation family run business based in Dublin.
Handcrafted in Dublin. Pendant: 7/8"L x 3/8"H; 18" chain.
Within a century of Englishman George Ravenscroft’s 1676 patent on lead crystal, the first crystal factory in Ireland was opened, and the industry has flourished ever since. Native talent and outside political events combined to make Irish cities like Waterford, Cork, and Dublin crystal-producing centers: First, when Protestants fled France after the Edict of Nantes was repealed, taking with it substantial civil rights, many talented craftsmen ended up in England and Ireland. Second, wood was banned as a fuel for glassmaking in the 18th century, leaving port cities who had easier access to coal deliveries able to keep evolving glassblowing techniques.
The techniques have changed little over the centuries, with highly skilled artisans still using molds to blow traditional and contemporary forms. Once the form is finished and cooled, master cutters use diamond-tipped instruments to add the wedge cuts that are a hallmark of the finest Irish cut crystal.