|Unlike many of the pique pieces we encounter, this one has a substantial part of the design in silver. When first acquired, the silver was barely distinguishable from the surrounding tortoise-shell. Careful restoration, using baking soda and aluminum to reverse the tarnishing process brought it back to life.|
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.