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Rare antique pique necklace


Pique jewellery is unto itself and like no other form of jewellery, and here is an extremely rare antique pique necklace that is so unique and difficult to compare to any other.

Click here to read an article on pique jewellery. https://www.kalmarantiques.com.au/articles/history-of-pique-jewellery/

More commonly found as earrings and pendants, finding a pique necklace is as rare as they get, and combined with the colouring and intricate detail of each of the balls, then you have a piece of antique jewellery that is as special as it is unique.

Measuring 54cm in length, there are a total of 42 pique balls that graduate so elegantly from 9.7mm to 14.9mm. The soft graduation in size adds to the charm of the necklace even more, and this is certainly one piece of jewellery that will surely be noticed from near or far.

Some pieces of jewellery come along that are like no other and virtually irreplaceable, and this pique necklace most certainly is.


Stock# ET1297

Circa: 1880



Rare antique pique necklace

What is pique jewellery?

Pique 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.

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. These were then 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. 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 pique jewellery that is currently in store:


Click here to see more antique necklaces and pendants that are currently instore:



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