Bands of Style - Niello Chain Necklace
Niello has a fascinating history dating back to ancient times, thought to be invented first in Egypt. It is a process that produces minute decoration on a metal surface by incised lines filled in with a black metallic amalgam. The amalgam usually has silvery gray-black hue and has a look and shimmer like no other metal. It was popular in Italy, France, Russia and other countries but since the 1700’s and earlier, the demand lessened. It can now be found in Thailand and a few other places, but is not widely produced.
This chain dates to circa 1890 and bears a delicate and classic design, a variant on the figaro chain. Each set of links consists of two rose gold vermeil smaller links then a larger twisted Niello link. A generous round spring clasp of silver sits at one end, a dog clip silver clasp at the other. Choker length or short chain for a smaller neck.
Date: Circa 1890.
Measurements: 14-3/4 inches (37.5 cm) in length by 1/4 of an inch (0.8 cm) in width. Weight of 13.1 grams (8.4 dwt).
Origin: Most likely English.
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