Art Nouveau Large Egyptian Revival Plique-a-Jour Scarab Pin
"Plique A Jour" is a French term that means "braid letting in daylight". The term refers to the technique in which enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing. This allows light to shine through the transparent or translucent enamel and form a beautiful stained glass like appearance.
During the 19th century, the discoveries of ancient archaeological finds influenced and brought on what is referred to as "archaeological revival jewelry," or "Egyptian revival jewelry." The initial Egyptian Revival period flourished from the 1820s and was inspired by ancient Egyptian imagery, such as the scarab beetle, sphinxes, pharaohs, and hieroglyphics.
This incredible French plique-à-jour scarab pin from the Art Nouveau era (ca1910) is a wonderful example of Egyptian revival jewelry! Very substantial in size, the pin is made of gilded silver and depicts a gorgeous scarab beetle with wide open wings. The body of the beetle is represented by a vivid pink French paste stone, which is bezel set in the center. Surrounding the faceted paste stone is a twisted rope border and very fine detail depicting individual legs, pinchers, and two sprouting antennae. The plique-à-jour wings have a a rich array of sunset colors in hues of orange, pink, gold, and deep rose. The individual feathers are separated by veins of gilded silver, which creates a stained glass appearance when combined with the rich plique-a-jour colors. Held between the back legs and pinchers of the scarab are two additional enamel accents, completing the spectacular design. The back of the piece is hallmarked and stamped "800," and a secure pin clasp rests behind the wings, allowing it to be easily fastened to a favorite garment. An exceptionally fine piece, this wonderful pin is perfect for any Egyptian Revival or Plique-a-jour collector!
Measurements: The pin measures 4 1/2” wide at the wingspan, and 1" at the tallest point (the center of the body).
Condition: The overall condition of the pin is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gilded silver setting, the plique-à-jour enameling, or the French paste stone. The pin clasp is secure and in good working condition.