Victorian Large Piqué Bee Tortoise Shell Pin
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 pin is an absolutely wonderful example of the piqué art form from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Crafted of very rich, dark tortoise shell, the piece has been hand carved into a round disc with a fabulous convex shape. Gracing the front surface is a beautiful mixed metals design of a highly detailed honey bee. The lovely insect has a yellow gold body, 6 legs and two antennae that peek out from the head and textured silver wings. Surrounding the bee is an ornate yellow gold 3-layer border, which includes two delicate bead designs and finishes with a fabulous sun ray motif. The detail of the piqué design is absolutely exquisite, and resting at the back is a pin bar and original c-catch clasp atop the letter "J". The pin would look magnificent fastened to a favorite garment, and would make a perfect addition to any collection!
Measurements: The pin measures approximately 1 1/4" in diameter and is about 1/4" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pin is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the tortoise shell except for a tiny chip to the edge, however due to its size and location, it is not noticeable when worn. There is no apparent damage to the inlaid gold and silver design and the pin and clasp are secure and in good working order.