Victorian Aesthetic Period Niello Long Chain
Thought to be first produced in Egypt, Niello has a fascinating history dating back to ancient times. It is a process that produces minute decoration on a metal surface by having incised lines filled in with a black metallic amalgam. The amalgam usually has a silvery gray-black hue and has a look that shimmers like no other metal. It was popular in Italy, France, Russia and other countries, but since the 1700s its demand has lessened. Today it is not widely produced but can be found in Thailand and in a few other locales.
In its original stately and grand length of 62 inches (157.4 cm), this Victorian necklace has been delicately designed in the classic Figaro style. Each set of links consists of two rose gold vermeil loop-in-loop links followed by a larger link of silver inset with Niello. The Nielloed links appear as though wrapped with a slender silver wire; in actuality each link is of silver that has been hollowed out in diagonal bands and inserted with the Niello. Closure is secure with the original large round Niello toggle and spring clasp (3/4 of an inch or 1.8 cm in diameter). In excellent condition, in its entirety this circa 1880 necklace is substantial and august with a weight of 43.3 grams.
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