Victorian 14kt Piqué Roman Key Tortoise Shell Necklace
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.
This wonderful necklace is a beautiful example of the piqué art form! From the Victorian era (ca1880) the necklace is comprised of a carved tortoise shell pendant that hangs from a complimentary 14kt yellow gold chain. The tortoise shell pendant has a hand-carved, elongated teardrop shape that hangs from a fluted gold bail at the top. Traveling down the center of the pendant is a gold Roman key design, which stands out dramatically against the rich, dark brown background. The front of the bail displays a decorative raised bead and wirework design, adding a lovely accent. Strands of interlocking gold loops interspersed with three-dimensional filigree links form the beautiful gold chain, which fastens with a simple spring ring clasp in the back. A stunning Victorian piece, it looks wonderful when worn and is perfect for any piqué collector!
Measurements: The pendant hangs 2 3/8" long and measures slightly less than 1/2" at the widest and thickest point. The chain measures 17" long from end to end.
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the tortoise shell or the gold piqué inlay. The gold chain is in excellent condition and the spring ring clasp is secure and in good working order.