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Extremely rare antique pique purse with a pocket watch

Here is an extremely rare antique piqué purse with a pocket watch that is truly a one of a kind piece that is like no other. Piqué is when a material most often tortoiseshell was inlayed with either silver or gold or a combination of the two resulting in pieces of jewellery and objects of beauty that is like no other.

Often found in such pieces such as earrings or brooches, finding it in something like a purse is so exceptionally rare. And then combine this with a watch and you have something which is even more hard to ever find another.

The quality of craftsmanship in the case is just exquisite and of the finest quality. In superb condition it measures 80mm across by 24.1mm by 50.7mm thick, and has the most lovely tactile feel to it. With the catch on the side easy to open it then reveals its original velvet lined purse inside which also accesses the back of the watch movement to both wind and set it from here. The movement has been serviced and comes with our twelve month warranty and the dial itself measures a dainty 19.3mm in diameter.

No matter how this is displayed or used, this is truly something that once sold, will be exceedingly hard to ever replace.


Stock # ES7316

Circa: 1870


Out of stock


Out of stock

Extremely rare antique pique purse with a pocket watch

A brief history on pique jewellery:

Piqué jewellery is a style and type of jewellery all unto itself and one that cannot be reproduced today and is so unique and spectacular. Made most popular during the Victorian era, it can be found as far back as the 18th Century and was popular throughout most parts of Europe but mostly in Italy and England.

Piqué (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 “rods” 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.

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.

Piqué 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, meaning that piqué jewellery will become harder and harder to find as the years go by.

Click here to see more antique pique pieces currently in store:


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Fine Antique and Modern Jewellery, watches and Objets d’Art at the Queen Victoria Building in the Heart of Sydney city.

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