Victorian Long Niello Silver & Rose Gold Gilt Chain 61"
Niello is the art of ornamenting metal surfaces that is thought to have originated with the Egyptians and spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. It is enamel-like substance made alloys of sulfur, copper, silver and lead and used as an inlay on engraved metal.
This attractive chain from the Victorian (ca1880) era is a wonderful example of the Niello craft! The extra long chain is comprised of Niello links alternate with rose gold gilt chain links, forming a beautiful necklace. Each Niello link has an enameled border that frames a rose gilt wirework center. The contrast between the Niello links and the rose gilt accents gives a wonderful mixed metals appearance to the design! At the center of the necklace is a large watch swivel and spring ring clasp, making it easy to double or triple the chain, or hang a complimentary locket or pendant if desired. Both clasps are enameled in a traditional striped Niello motif, and are stamped with several markings: "DEPOSE 800 S&S." A very artistic piece, it is a wonderful example of the Niello art form and would make a versatile addition to any collection!
Measurements: The entire length of the chain measures 61" long. Each Niello link measures 3/4" long and 1/4" wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the chain is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the the silver and Niello motif or rose gold gilt accents. There is a light natural patina present on the surface of the setting, which is normal for a Victorian piece. The spring ring and watch swivel clasp fasten securely and are in good working condition.