A handsome mid Victorian tortoiseshell brooch with gold and silver metal pique design
CONDITION: slight bending to the pin otherwise good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 1¼ ins diameter (4 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1860s – 1870s
MATERIALS: tortoiseshell, gold and silver inlay
Here is a very beautiful mid to late Victorian brooch of classic hexagonal form.
The ornament is made from the dark coloured form of tortoise shell ornately inlaid with a floral design in both gold and silver. This form of adornment is called pique and is one that is widely found upon Victorian ornaments and hair accessories.
This is a very nice example with no loss of the pique inlay.
The brooch fastens with an original C clasp with no safety and tube hinged or T bar pin stem.
The decorative treatment known as pique is the inlaying of precious metals into another material, usually tortoiseshell, but occasionally horn or other substances. This technique has a long history, and was extensively used for the decoration of hair combs and jewellery during the reign of Victoria. When gently heated, usually by insertion in hot water, natural organic materials soften to permit the inlaying of small pieces of metal or other substance. When cool, the ground material contracts to hold the pieces in tightly in place without the need for adhesive. Pique is usually found all in gold but in the very best pieces is combined with silver or other materials such as mother of pearl, and is applied in sheets as well as dots.
If this item includes any CITES Appendix I materials documentation and certificates required by law for commercial sale, import or export, have been obtained for this item and will be included with it at shipment.
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Victorian tortoiseshell brooch with pique inlay