Scalloped Detail - Victorian Piqué Earrings
Its a legend! This eye catching jewel is featured on page 100 in the latest 7th edition of the book, "Answers to Questions About Old Jewelry" by C. Jeanenne Bell! See over 30 of pieces of our jewelry highlighted - both currently for sale and from the recent past. Don't miss this wonderful resource.
All original and in mint condition, this pair of antique Victorian piqué earrings just stands out. A small orb of natural tortoise shell inlaid with a single gold star performs as surmount suspending a double drop earring. With an open center, an outer element enhanced by sensuous contours of a scallop shell frames a smaller articulated cabochon of tortoise shell. Piqué work of silver and gold ornament the drops with intricate floral motifs, stars and ovals. Delicate ropes of twisted gold outline the inner perimeter of the larger element. Remarkably light on the ear and mesmerizing for the eye.
Measures 2-3/16 inches (4.7 cm) in length by 1-3/16 inches (2.9 cm) wide. The pair has a weight of 6.4 grams. Original ear wires. Dates to circa 1870 – 1880 and is English in origin.
Historical notes: Developed in the 1700s, piqué reached its height of popularity in England where it was only produced for a short period around 1850 – 1880 and never revived. One of several styles of precious metal work in which minute pieces of gold and silver are inlaid into a base of tortoise shell or ivory. Tedious and exacting work, various patterns and configurations are designed and inserted into the rich translucent surfaces of the base.