Featured Niello Cufflink-like button and Purple Rhinestone Locket

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Barn Owl, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    I'm mystified by these two items. I bought a mismatched pair of the niello cufflink-like buttons, but I don't think they're actual cufflinks, since they have a solid back. They're slightly larger than a quarter, and I think the hallmarks are French. I'd think that the pendant is newer, but what makes it unusual is that it's actually a locket on the back. I don't think it's silver. Perhaps rhodium plated. It's very strange; it doesn't make sense for it to be a locket, since the back of the picture would show through the gaps in the filigree.
    20190624_1322181.jpg 20190624_1322351.jpg 20190624_1224051.jpg 20190624_1223551.jpg
     
  2. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Those "cufflinks but they're not" look like shirt studs.
     
  3. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    These seem too large for that, at over 2 cm (nearly .8 inches) in diameter.
     
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  4. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    As I said - looks like. But without an indication of measurement it's tough to zero in on a purpose. ;)
     
  5. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    SOme shirt studs are large. Locket is there to hold hair - and that looks like neodymium glass or even alexandrite to me. Bet it's silver, bet it's older.
     
  6. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    I'll have to test it. I assumed it was a costume piece, but something about the locket-pendant combo set off my radar...
     
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  7. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    The first one is a cuff button; they were often that size. I'd bet on the locket being sterling and amethyst glass. Get 'er under fluorescent lighting and daylight to be sure.
     
  8. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    Is it possible for the cuff buttons to have come in an unmatching set? I bought two niello ones from the same seller--the vines one and a checker-board pattern one.
     
  9. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Probably not, but you never know if they're Japanese.
     
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  10. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    This one is European, ca 1910. The checkerboard one too, it was a popular pattern in niello at the time. French marks make sense, but they made similar designs in Central Europe.
    One of a pair often gets lost, just look at the listings for single antique earrings.;)
     
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  11. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    Darn, I wish I had realized they were cuff links when I bought them. I paid 3 euros each, thinking they were meant to be worn individually, rather than sold in pairs. I should have known better, since I bought a matched set of champleve ones earlier that day.
     
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  12. MaJa

    MaJa Active Member

    The single cuff is older, around 1860-1870. At the time the (interchangeable) cuffs of the shirts were closed on the back of the hand, not on the outer side as it is today. The fashion changed in the 1870s and so did the cufflinks
     
  13. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    In a much belated update to this post, the locket tested as 10k gold, but I'm not sure if other metals could pass the streak test, so I'm leery to sell it as such until I take it to a jeweler.
     
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  14. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    Thank you! This is great to know.
     
  15. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Wonder if your niello items might have been collar studs. Think there was a period in women's wear when blouses used a stud to close a high collar. Have seen some whopping cameos used in that position, so these may not be oversized for the role. Strictly a guess.
     
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  16. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    I wonder if it is actually niello.
     
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  17. MaJa

    MaJa Active Member

    As far as I know only buttons, ribbons or broches were used to close a collar of a blouse. Sometimes the brooch was on top of a button or ribbon.
    In catalogues of the 19th century I have never seen such studs for women's blouses.


    Why shouldn't it be niello?
     
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  18. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    Why would it be niello,just because it is black and silver? Some silver,copper,lead and sulfur... usually requires a "pocket" or channel for the metal to be melted into.The stud shows not recesses.
     
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  19. Darkwing Manor

    Darkwing Manor Well-Known Member

    Just a thought.. could the locket be meant to hold a photo or woven hair piece, ALA sentimental jewelry? Purple (lavender) was the designated allowable color for late-stage mourning. amethsyt.jpg amethst2.jpg
     
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  20. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    The fabric in the back with a clear cover indicates it was meant for hair or a photo. Either would be consistent with mourning.
     
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