Victorian Silver & Niello Link Chain 26"
Niello is a blackened substance, which is comprised of metallic alloys (such as copper, silver, and lead) mixed with sulphur. Like enamel, it serves as a decorative overlay applied to etched metals, but was primarily used in silver, and was characterized by its black color and oxidized appearance. It originated in ancient Egypt and Rome, and later spread throughout Europe during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. During the Victorian era, it experienced a revival, and by the early 20th century, the majority of Niello work was produced in the Russian town of Tula (sometimes referred to as "Tula silver" or "Tula work"). Although Niello work has now been replaced by more modern techniques, it still is used in Thailand. However, the original antique Niello pieces have now become very collectible!
This attractive chain from the Victorian (ca1880) era is a wonderful example of the Niello craft! Made of silver, the chain is comprised of alternating links that form a stylish necklace. Each link is enameled on both sides in a traditional Niello motif. At the center of the necklace is a simple spring ring clasp, making it possible hang a complimentary locket or pendant if desired. A lovely Niello piece, it has a very versatile everyday look and would make an excellent addition to any collection!
Measurements: The entire length of the chain measures 26" long. Each elongated link measures 7/8" long, and the shorter links measure 1/2" long.
Condition: The overall condition of the chain is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the the silver setting, and all of the links are intact. There is a light natural patina present on the surface of the setting, and some light surface wear to the Niello motif, which is not unusual for a Victorian era piece. The spring ring fastens securely and is in good working condition.