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Victorian Pique Earrings


The ability to use heat for shaping made tortoiseshell an ideal jewelry material in the 19th century. Plastic hadn't been developed yet, but tortoiseshell (from the Hawksbill and Loggerhead turtles) had been in use since ancient Rome. Adding precious metal by ironing it in or laying it on top created a cool contrasty effect - this is called pique. Usually with pique we see lots of fussy little curliques and mini flowers ironed into the tortoiseshell, but these earrings are of exceptionally high quality and the onlaid linear design is streamlined and chic. Note the stars!


  • Materials

    tortoiseshell with gold onlay, silver ear wires

  • Age

    c. 1860

  • Condition


  • Size

    2 1/8" length including the ear wires, 7/8" at the widest point

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please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.