According to Ginger Moro in her book entitled European Designer Jewelry, during the Art Nouveau period (1885 to 1917) women wore jewelry made of carved horn, many with depictions of insects or naturalistic themes that were popular in that era.
The horn was obtained from bull or mountain goats from the Jura Mountains. The horn was "sliced, heated, bleached, carved, polished, and stained by hand." Ms. Moro explains that Lalique was the first "master of the art." He was joined by Elizabeth Bonte (a student of the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs) and George Pierre, who both specialized in this art form.
Slices of horn were soaked in hydrogen peroxide to enhance translucence. The pieces were treated with chemicals to create a shimmery effect. According to Ms. Moro, Ms. Bonte and Mr. Pierre eventually became partners and produced horn jewelry until 1936, at which time Bakelite became the favored medium for costume jewelry.
This piece is signed B.T.E. and also SGDG. I would venture that this may have been created by Ms. Bonte, therefore, based on the B.T.E. initials. The piece is definitely floral and has the desired shimmer. It is a large piece, measuring 3 1/2" by 2 1/2". Condition is very good and it is lovely!
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