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Brooch

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Picqué, tortoiseshell inlaid with silver and gilt metal

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Arthur Myers Smith

  • Museum number:

    M.55B-1916

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D7, box 2

The star is made from the shell of turtles. The jewellery makers softened the shell of the turtle (usually the hawksbill turtle) by boiling it in salt water before moulding it in heated dies. They then engraved the floral patterns and finally inlaid them with tiny flakes of precious metal.

This decoration is known as 'piqué' after the French term for pricking the tortoise shell. Piqué work seems to have originated in Naples in the 18th century. The technique was perfected in France and brought to Britain by Huguenot craftsmen. The Huguenots were Protestant refugees who fled from France to avoid religious persecution.

Physical description

Piqué brooch in the shape of a five-pointed star. Made from tortoise-shell inlaid with silver and gilt metal.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

19th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Picqué, tortoiseshell inlaid with silver and gilt metal

Dimensions

Diameter: 1.6 in, Height: 3.8 cm, Width: 3.8 cm, Depth: 1.5 cm

Descriptive line

Piqué brooch in the shape of a five-pointed star, tortoise-shell inlaid with silver and gilt metal, England, 19th century

Subjects depicted

Stars

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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