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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Etui

Etui, French for "case". A small ornamented case fitted with miniature implements for a woman's daily use, such as scissors, bodkins, needles, thimble, a tiny knife, pencil, ivory writing-tablet, etc. The cases were variously shaped, delicately decorated with enamels, and richly mounted with gilt hinges and collars.

Porcelain examples were sometimes made in fantasy shapes, e.g. a maiden's leg with stocking, shoe, and garter, a lady's arm with sleeve, cuff, and ringed finger, a stick of asparagus or broccoli. They were also made in gold, silver, and pinchbeck.

Some were worn suspended from a chatelaine by loops of silken cord or chain attached to the cover. They were worn in the 17th-19th centuries. A heavier version was also used by a man, for a watch, watch key, keys, and seals.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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