Due to the sleep-inducing properties of certain types of poppies, the poppy has been the symbol of everlasting sleep since ancient times. After the Second Battle of Ypres the flower with her blood red leaves and black heart became a symbol for the fallen soldiers.
Emanuel Schwartz made this gold brooch in Vienna, around 1900-1910. The poppy is made with a specific technique, a so-called ‘reverse intaglio’. A reverse crystal intaglio is a cabochon cut natural crystal with an intaglio carved into the flat underside. This image is painted and mounted on an opaque background (usually mother of pearl). Finally, the back is sealed with gold, to preserve the painted areas. When viewed through the front, the image appears three-dimensional, like a poppy flower in a miniature display. The technique originates in Belgium c. 1860 and is attributed to an artist named Emile Marius Pradier. This technique gained popularity both in England and Austria.