This is a most unusual and beautiful bust of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It is a classic bust of Germany’s final Kaiser. The bust is made of tiger’s eye, a semiprecious gemstone. [Tiger’s eye is a quartz variety that displays rich yellow and golden-brown stripes, with a fine golden luster when polished. It displays chatoyancy (a vertical luminescent band like that of a cat’s eye). Tiger’s eye commonly is used for jewelry and small statues ]. It has been delicately carved into Kaiser Wilhelm II’s likeness from the chest up. Its luminescent golden bands run vertically through the bust, particularly through Wilhelm’s face down into where his chest broadens out. The exquisite carving is precise enough to reveal the Kaiser’s neck order, tunic buttons, medal bar (at least 7 places), epaulettes and aiguillette. The hairs on his mustache and head are individually rendered. The statuette’s overall height is 6.” The bust portion measures 2 1/4,” while its base measures 3 3/4.” The base appears to be made of either agate or onyx, which are other quartz-forms related to tiger’s eye. [Agate is a variety of chalcedony formed from layers of quartz that usually show varicolored bands. Onyx is a gemstone with alternating light and dark bands, which are colored in brown, red, black, white and grey. Some forms of agate are called onyx, which is, strictly speaking, coarsely banded agate. The agate-working industry grew up centuries ago in the Idar-Oberstein district of Germany, where agates were abundant around Oberstein on the Nahe, a tributary of the Rhine at Bingen. Most were found in the Galgenberg, or Steinkaulenberg, overlooking the village of Idar, on the Idar Bach, about two miles from Oberstein. Commercial mining mostly halted in 1870, although the agate industry is still carried on, especially at Idar]. The onyx/agate base’s color shifts from light brown to dark brown, with thin swirling lines of white and providing interesting contrast. It has been carved in the form of a tiered tower, with the tiger’s eye bust attached to its top. This is a sublime piece of work, splendid in its execution and bewitching in its beauty. Gem afficionados and royalty collectors alike will glory in its sensuous charm.