Antiques, Collectibles, Vintage Shopping
Antique & Vintage Shop and Mall
Collectics Speed Shopping
Featured Sale Consignments
Site Search
Collector Books, Reviews, Education
Antiques & Collectibles Bookstore
Collector Books Topic Search
Collector Book Reviews
Antique Price Guides Slideshow
Antiques Information & Education
Online Museums & Directories
Art Deco & Art Nouveau Museum
Tiffany Lamps & Glass Museum
Museum & Historic Site Directory
Collecting & Design Directory
Discover Collectics Variety
Cool Stuff
Collectics Coupon Outlet
Sponsored by:
Vintage Sunglasses Shop - Authentic vintage Revo, Ray-Ban, Armani, Carrera, Alpina, Cazal, Persol, Vuarnet, Bolle, Oliver Peoples, and French cat's eye sunglasses!
Collectics Antique & Vintage Sale Coupon: Save 10% On Entire Order!

The Collectics Antiques Information & Education pages are designed to further knowledge of antiques, collectibles, collecting styles, periods, artists, designers, and manufacturers of fine and decorative arts. To learn more, our Antique Collector Bookstore lists only the best collector books and price guides, complied by surveys of top antique dealers and auction houses. For a different shopping experience, you can also browse our featured selections in a fun new way with the Antique Price Guides Slideshow or see current bestsellers by using Collector Books Topic Search.

The World of Collectics

Low Prices - High Quality: Antique & Vintage Shop!

Antiques Information & Education Home Page

Browse Categories With Pictures: Speed Shopping!
"prices 30% below your local antique shop or vintage store plus free shipping." Collectibles Guide 2010
Peanuts © United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
Collectics Customer Appreciation Sale Coupon: Save 10% On Entire Order!
The art of enameling dates back many thousands of years. A variation of the technique was used by the ancient Egyptians, who used filigree metalwork to set not enamels but rather precious and semi-precious genstones. One of the most famous examples of this use is the gold mask of Tutankhamun, with its intricate design and brilliant colors. Unlike jewelry of precious gemstones, enameled jewelry derived its value from the intricacy of design and skill of the artist and crafttsmen. This emphasis of design over the rarity of the material was a key driver of the Art Nouveau movement as well as the English and American Arts & Crafts movements. Most styles of enameling are still referred to by their French names.

The art of plique-a-jour enameling of fine jewelry burst onto the public scene during the Art Nouveau period with the work of master jeweler René Lalique at the turn of the century. At about the same time, Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, born in 1846, was just becoming famous. He learned his art working at the Hermitage, the storehouse for all of the Russian czars where he did repairs as well as appraisals and inventories. His best known works are the famous Fabergé eggs made as gifts for the Czar, made of intricate gold forms inlaid with the vivid rainbow of enamel colors for which his work is so unique. Faberge exhibited his work at a fair in Moscow where Czar Alexander III and his wife, Czarina Maria, saw Faberge's skill in enamel work, and he made a purchase and presented him with a gold medal honoring him as "having
opened a new era in jewelry art." The House of Fabergé employed the most skilled artisans in the world although it is interesting that Fabergé himself never made any of the famous eggs.

First popular with the public in the late 19th century, plique-a-jour is a difficult technique and requires the ability to create the finest filigree of gold, silver, and copper entirely by hand, and then to apply the brilliant colors of vitreous, glass like enamel which fuses with the metal. The metalwork forms an intricate frame or skeleton into which the enamels are applied, but there is no backing material to the frame so the enamels have to fuse with the metal to create the finished surface. Plique-a-jour jewelry is most often created commencing with a thin sheet of gold or silver. The sheet is pierced or cut using fine art specialty tools to create the pattern into which paste enamels will be applied. Where a backing material is used, it is later removed by dissolving or polishing after the piece is completed. Another lesser used technique in the manufacture of plique-s-jour is to suspend wires in soft molten clear enamel which rests on a copper base. This assembly is subsequently enameled in the chosen colors and the base is removed.

A technique closely related to plique-a-jour is cloisonné. Cloisonné is created by attaching  strips of gold, silver, or brass to a metal base. This builds up an intricate grid of "cloisons", or cells, into which the enamel, often in paste form, is applied. The network of cloisons also helps separate the colors, allowing for intricate, colorful work. When the enamel is set, the enamel is ground to a smooth finish and polished to a brilliant luster. Repeated firings are used which gradually build up the depth of the enamel to the desired thickness until you can still faintly see the outline of the cloisonns within the enamel. Said to originate in Britain, the champlevé technique is to fill recesses in the metal made by casting or engraving opaque red, blue, green, or white enamels. The piece is then polished to be even with the cells analogous to the finishing performed on plique-a-jour or cloisonné.  Another related technique is basse-taille, in which a base metal such as silver or gold is engraved, then covered with a clear enamel through which one can see the metal engraving.

Ever been fooled by a fake or a seller that didn't deliver the goods as described? At Collectics, we authenticate and stand behind everything we sell, at prices "30% below your local antique shop" according to Collectibles Guide 2010. Please browse our main Antiques & Collectibles Mall to find a treat for yourself or a great gift for others, all with free shipping. Thanks for visiting and shopping at Collectics!

Antiques Information & Education Home Page

Buy period finer enamel jewelry and accessories on the Collectics Jewelry and Fine Antiques pages, or search the entire site for great antiques, collectibles, and crafts for every collector!

Collectics Antiques & Collectibles Collector Bookstore

Only the best collector books and price guides on collecting antiques and collectibles, plus Topic Search & top rated Collector Book Reviews!

Fabergé Eggs: A Retrospective Encyclopedia Warman's Lalique: Identification and Price Guide
Art Deco: 1910-1939
Cool Coupons & Promo Coupon Codes for Disney, Brookstone, Avon, Netflix, eBags, and more @ our Coupon Site!
Click On Collector Book Price Guides For Details Or Visit Our Antiques & Collectibles Bookstore
Search Now: Earth's Biggest Store!
The Lamps of Tiffany
Collector Book Purchases & Advertising Support Our Free Online Museums, Antiques & Collectibles Information, and Directories - Thank You!
Schiffer Books For Collectors: Collector books and price guides by top antique appraisers & experts!
Display Cases for collectibles, figurines, diecast cars, sports memorabilia, dolls, and more!
Copyright © Collectics. All rights reserved.