Set six antique silver & tortoiseshell place card or menu holders

Set six antique silver & tortoiseshell place card or menu holders

£1,350
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These pretty oval Edwardian menu or place card holders have silver bases and oval tortoiseshell discs beautifully inlaid with silver decorations featuring swags of bellflowers and trumpets draped over a central starburst decoration. The tortoiseshell is a clear colour with good grain.

The technique used on these place card holders is called piqué, where gold or silver is inlaid into another material, in this case silver on tortoiseshell. Despite being expensive, the use of tortoiseshell in the decorative arts was very popular in 18th and 19th century Europe. Not only did it have a beautiful mottled appearance and was durable, but it was also lightweight and could be easily fashioned into other shapes; jewellery boxes and tea caddies were prime examples.

Tortoiseshell is quite malleable when heated, so when very fine gold, or in this case silver, was fashioned into delicate designs and then pressed into the warmed tortoiseshell, the silver then cooled and the shell contracted to hold the silver in place.

Dimensions:

Height 30 mm / 1 "
Diameter 37 mm / 1 34"
Year

1910

Place

London

Condition

Excellent

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