Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Isadora’s has specialized in exquisite antique jewelry for 38 years. Our discriminating collection includes pieces from the early 1800’s through the 1950’s, without a reproduction to be found. Our precious pieces are sent to North American Gem Lab for independent appraisals. We invite you to call our toll free number for applicable discounts. On many of our pieces, we are able to offer between 10-25% off of appraisal value.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Plique-a-jour Jewelry

It is a new year and there are new and fantastic old jewelry pieces to explore.  One of my favorite new/old pieces at Isadora’s is a rare and beautiful Plique-a-jour enamel necklace dating from the 1920’s.

Circa 1920 Plique a jour Necklace

Plique a jour is one of the most rare types of enamel.  It takes a truly talented and dedicated jeweler to even attempt to learn plique a jour as one piece of jewelry can take up to four months to create and one misstep and the jeweler most restart the piece from the very beginning.

Painting in the cells
Why is it so difficult you ask?  Like with cloisonné enamel there are tiny metal cells in the jewelry that the jeweler paints in.  He often uses multiple layers of paint to created the textured beauty of a piece.  And after each layer the piece most be fired.  While painting there is a temporary backing.  This backing is dissolved after the firing of the final layer.  This allows the enamel to be more transparent than other enamels, almost like stained glass.  

Plique a jour was a favorite technique of both Lalique and Fabrage.  The name “Plique a Jour” is French for “letting in daylight”.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I cringed a little at the use of the word paint there. Its not at all like paint. They're tiny grains of enamel closer to sand in texture and mixed with a binder which burns away when fired. The tempory backing is optional too.

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