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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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Toothpick

A thin, pointed, instrument for removing particles of food lodged between the teeth. Examples made of gold or silver were popular in England during the Renaissance; some were enamelled or decorated with gemstones, and were worn suspended from a neck chain.

In Italy, where toothpicks are still widely used, very ornate examples have been made since the 15th century, sometimes having the head in the form of a mermaid or other figure. A German example, 16th century, is in the shape of a sickle. Some toothpicks have been made with an ear-pick at the end opposite the point, and some have a toothpick and an ear-pick joined by a swivel. Modern examples made of gold have the point retractable into a decorative case.

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

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