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C1880 Floral pique expansion bracelet

C1880 Floral pique expansion bracelet

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Jewelry: Pre 1900: Item # 1426547
Moylan-Smelkinson/The Spare Room
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P.O. Box 4684
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
tel. 410-435-3738

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Translated as "pierce" in French, the word pique describes a classically Victorian type of jewelry made by heating tortoiseshell and piercing it with gold and silver inlays to create beautiful geometric or floral patterns. This describes the beautiful art of pique jewelry, made from the upper shell and lower belly of the hawksbill turtle and considered the highest quality of turtle shell and used for the production of beautiful boxes, objet, hair ornaments, and in the nineteenth century, jewelry. The art of pique began in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with the French Huguenots who are credited with creating the art form. Banished from France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the French Huguenots were highly sought after as other countries were desirous of their skills. England, Ireland and the Dutch countries all welcomed the Huguenots who taught the trade to the local craftsmen. Thus was born the art of pique jewelry, which continues to be highly sought after to this day.