Pique jewellery is so unique and truly a lost art due to the material used in making them, and here are a very beautiful pair of antique pique earrings that are wonderfully articulated to move so elegantly as they are worn.
Click here to read a brief article on pique jewellery: https://www.kalmarantiques.com.au/articles/history-of-pique-jewellery/
More often than not, pique jewellery is found inlayed with gold or gold and silver, so finding a pair that is just inlayed with silver makes these quite unique.
Each earring measures 17.9mm wide at the base, to 54mm to the top of the shepherd hooks, and each earring is made with two sections that can move independently to each other, giving these earrings an even more dramatic effect.
The detail in the silver work is just astonishing at how intricate and fine it is, and is a real testament to the quality of workmanship during this time, made even more amazing at the thought that all of this was done by hand without the use of modern tools that are available today.
These earrings also have the most wonderful chocolate-brown colour, and combined with their shape and design, will be perfect for any outfit.
Out of stock
Antique silver pique earrings
Antique silver pique earrings made in the Victorian era.
What is pique jewellery?
Pique jewellery is a style and type of jewellery all unto itself and one that cannot be reproduced today. Made most popular during the Victorian era, it can be found as far back as the 18th Century. Pique jewellery was popular throughout most parts of Europe, but mostly in Italy and England.
Pique (pronounced pee-kay) is gold or silver, or sometimes a combination of both, inlayed into another material. Quite often the material was tortoiseshell (from the Hawksbill tortoise which was also used for the making of other tortoiseshell material such as boxes etc) and sometimes even from elephant ivory.
The tortoiseshell seemed to be the most popular, probably because of its light weight and being easy to mould into other shapes. Tortoiseshell is a natural thermoplastic , meaning that it is quite malleable when heated/warmed. Very fine gold or silver would be fashioned into either fine rod or leaf designs and the pressed into the already warmed tortoiseshell. After the gold and silver was set, the shell was left to cool down which would then contract to hold the metal in place.
How was pique jewellery made?
Prior to 1870, the metals were cut by hand allowing for very fine and intricate detail. Then after 1870, machines started to do the work resulting in more straight and angular designs. The attention to detail no matter the age is always something that never ceases to amaze people especially when you consider that these pieces were often made well over 140 years ago and still look superb today.
Pique jewellery can most commonly be found in earrings and pendants, and the designs and colouring are amazing to admire.
This form of jewellery making is now a lost art as both the elephant and Hawksbill turtle are protected species. This means that pique jewellery will become harder and harder to find as the years go by.
Click here to see more antique earrings that is currently in store:
Click here to see more antique pique jewellery that is currently in store:
A link to the beautiful Victoria & Albert museum in London: