Victorian Austrian Wide Silver Niello Checkerboard Buckle Bracelet
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 fantastic Victorian (ca1880) bracelet is an exceptional example of the Niello art form! Austrian in origin, the bracelet has a very wearable and stylish design which is crafted in .900 silver. The piece, which is particularly wide for a Niello bracelet, has a hinged bangle design with a 3-dimensional buckle motif that graces the front surface. The fine checkerboard Niello pattern is inlaid into the outer surface, carrying along the entire length of the piece, front and back. Realistic raised details depict the buckle and strap on the front, which are also enameled with striped Niello accents. The bracelet is hinged and opens at a push clasp at the side, where a safety chain provides extra security. Stamped on the bracelet are several hallmarks: "MuS40" can be found along the interior, two small marks have been stamped on one of the silver safety chain rings, the Dianakopf or Diana's head mark, which represents the Austria-Hungary mark for .900 silver produced between 1872-1922, the letter "A" which, was the Vienna Assay mark and a third small mark can all be found on the tongue of the clasp; please refer to images. This stylish bangle would look fabulous stacked with other bracelets, or worn on its own. It's a fantastic Victorian Niello piece, and would make a perfect everyday accessory!
Measurements: The inside of the bracelet (where a wrist would rest) measures 2 3/8" wide and 2" tall. The surface of the bracelet measures approximately 1/2" wide and 7/8" wide where the buckle is found.
Condition: The overall condition of the bracelet is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is not serious damage to the silver bangle or to the Niello pattern. The bracelet clasp and hinge are secure and in good working order, and the safety chain is intact.