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Victorian Mourning Pendant

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Enamel Jewelry88 of 194Colorful plique a jour enamel diamonds gold pendant.Meyle & Mayer sterling enamel pansy pin.
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (103 items)

    A lovely and beautifully made Victorian 18K gold enamel pendant of a winged angel in clouds with a black scalloped border and black enameled ribbons set with rose cut diamonds. The pendant came in its original fitted box.

    I have been trying to figure out the enameling technique used on this piece. It could be guilloché enamel, due to the machined edges, but I "believe" guilloché covers the entire surface.

    The only other possible type is basse-taille enamel. According to the Lang jewelry site:

    Through the use of different gravers the design was cut out in levels of various relief (from very shallow low relief to deep high relief). This enabled the scene to gain more depth than the traditional champlevé enamels. As this chiaroscuro effect could only work with transparent enamels, the choice of metal needed to be gold or - most often employed - silver. By applying the same enamel on various depths, a strong illusion of 3-dimensionality in the image could be achieved. The deeper areas would obtain a darker tone through the thickness of the enamel while the shallower areas were not only lighter in tone by the layer of the enamel, the reflecting surface of the silver enhanced this effect.

    This pendant has an amazing depth and translucence, especially with the clouds and the feathers in the wings.


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    1. davyd286, 6 years ago
      If those beautiful "rays of light" in the picture are not painted but instead are the engine-turned metal surface, than it's fair to call the technique "guilloche". The only difference from the traditional all-over translucent guilloche enamel we usually see is that the maker of your piece cleverly used both translucent (for the background) and opaque (for the clouds and the angel) enamel to create a stunning effect.
    2. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      I'm with Davyd286 to call it guilloché enamel, for same reason of engine turned background.
      Opalescence give it a so mystical effect!
    3. Bluboi Bluboi, 6 years ago
      Thanks Davy and Kyra. Basse-taille didn't seem correct but was the only other type that seemed even close. Guilloche it is!

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