Niello Pocket Watch Chain with Niello Ends

Niello Pocket Watch Chain with Niello Ends

ITEM-1345
$576.00

Normally: $720.00

Niello Pocket Watch Chain with Niello Ends
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Niello Pocket Watch Chain with Niello Ends

ITEM-1345
$576.00

Normally: $720.00

1 available for immediate delivery

Product Details


Niello Pocket Watch Chain with Niello Ends

Presenting for offer this .800 Silver with black niello enamel pocket watch chain. The large links measure 1-1/4" each and the chain measures 13-1/2" total. Near Mint condition.

Niello
The niello watch case became a canvas for outstanding art works that will likely never be duplicated. The term niello comes from the Latin word nigellum that is the diminutive of niger (black.) It was a technique used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Persians. Niello is a black or blackish-blue composition of lead, silver, copper, sulfur and ammonium chloride. The mixture is fused onto an engraved or cut-out metal base by firing the mix in a process similar to champleve' enameling. Silver was the most often used metal for niello objects since the soft white silver color contrasted beautifully with the darker niello.

Rose-gold inlay work was also seen in combination with niello and tri-color effects were achieved by the use of rose-gold, niello and silver. When the niello was heated and fired onto a silver watch case, it actually fused with the silver very strongly, almost as if it were soldered in place. The niello would be filled, finished and polished, leaving the surface of the watch case smooth and flat.

One can readily assume that the process of engraving the areas which were to be filled with niello, the firing stages, and the finishing stages were very time consuming and therefore costly. Aside from the production end, the niello cases also had to be designed by artists who would pre-determine the subject matter and then the cases were finished by engravers who produced the fine details.