Victorian Rare 9kt + Sterling Piqué Tortoise Shell Drop Earrings
Piqué was a decorative style popular in the 18th and 19th century and entailed inlaying a fine pattern of gold or silver into tortoise shell. The metal would be heated to a very high temperature and then pressed directly into the surface of the tortoise shell. Once cool, the tortoise secures around the metal. Now a banned material, Antique tortoise shell jewelry has become very collectible.
A rare find, this wonderful pair of earrings is a beautiful example of the piqué art form from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Each piece is hand carved from tortoise shell, and features a gorgeous mixed metals motif on its surface. At the top of each earring is a small topper with a gold starburst motif in the center. Dangling below is an elongated link embellished with a swirling floral motif in fine piqué detail. A triangular cutout can be found in the center, with a teardrop link in the middle. The The mixed metal design comes alive, standing out dramatically against the rich, brown and caramel colored tortoise shell colors. Despite their substantial size, they are incredibly light and comfortable when worn, framing the face beautifully. A stunning pair of Victorian earrings, they look wonderful when worn and are perfect for any piqué collector!
Measurements: Each earring hangs approximately 2 5/8" long (including the earring wires,) measures 5/8" at its widest point, and is approximately 1/16" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings are excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the tortoise shell or the gold and silver piqué inlay, which is secure and intact.