Judy Jay's

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Phone: 210-690-8454

Fax: 210-699-4492

Victorian Jewelry: VJ143

PIQUÉ FROM THE SEA ( Victorian Jewelry Piqué Earrings ): Piqué is by definition, gold and silver decoration on tortoiseshell. Skilled artisans, using tortoiseshell as a base, carved out specific designs or shapes from metal and then inlayed them into the shell. I was fortunate to obtain these large, very beautiful silver lily-of-the-valley Victorian earrings for pierced ears. (c. 1860-80) The versatility of tortoiseshell, with its rich colors, has helped to make it one of the most popular, sought after materials to come from the sea. Its natural markings are patches of translucent sherry-gold mingled with cloudy chestnut – and they give a fascinating depth to a smooth surface. Slightly curved, these shell earrings have been inlayed with ribbons of silver along the edge and a central floral design of lily-of-the-valley. These flowers symbolize the return of happiness and, in combination with tortoiseshell, would have been suitable for half-mourning. Probably English in origin, these piqué pierced earrings are a delight to hold, touch and wear. Recently all organic materials have sky-rocketed in price due to the rising interest among collectors. Feel the pulse of the 19th Century by adding these beauties to your Victorian jewelry box. Condition: Excellent. A few light scratches – they are antique, too! The ear wires may be later replacements. The photos make one earring appear lighter than the other. This is the result of the marbleizing of the shell. They look the same color in reality. Size: Full drop is 2 1/8 long. Shell is 1 5/8” long, 1 1/2” wide with a curve of almost 1/4”.

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