Pique Brooch, Honeycomb Pattern

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This large pique brooch has a central honeycomb pattern, surrounded by a Greek key motif.

Pique is one of the materials which cannot be legally made anymore. It is created by steaming and heating a base of tortoise-shell, which is then molded into shape. Thin rods of precious metal are embedded into the softened shell. After cooling and hardening, the surface is ground and polished.

The typical early C clasp is shown. Notice how thick the tortoise shell is.