Niello is a decorative process using a deep black metal mixture as an inlay. Similar to enamel, it has been used since the Middle Ages.
An alloy composed in part of silver, copper and sulfur, designs on metal are engraved or chased and then filled in with the lustrous blue-black substance. This technique experienced a revival during the Victorian Era.
Here the process is displayed on a silver long chain circa 1880. Quite unusual as the fancy chain uses three types of links – a marquise shape, a small round medallion and an elongated elliptical link. A floral motif and stylized leaves appoint the marquise element and a multi-petal flower cluster decorates the round link.
Nicely sized at 54 inches in length, the necklace can easily be doubled or even tripled for wear. A spring clasp finishes the antique piece.