Lovely Russian silver, enamel and jade letter opener, set with beautiful elephant finial with garnet and blue enamel coat, above a pink guilloche handle, terminating to swags and green jade handle, impressed Russian marks and boxed, length 26 cm
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- Floral Swag / Garland / Festoon - Floral swags are a decorative motif often used in the ornamentation of various objects, such as silverware, glassware, and furniture. The term "swag" refers to a garland or wreath of flowers, foliage, or other decorative elements, which is usually arranged in a loop or curve.
Floral swags can be found in a variety of decorative styles, from ornate Baroque and Rococo designs to more naturalistic Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. They are often used to add a touch of elegance, refinement, or whimsy to an object, and can be seen on a range of items from chandeliers and candlesticks to picture frames and tea sets.
In the decoration of silver objects, floral swags are often used to accentuate the curves and lines of the piece, and to add visual interest to the surface. Similarly, on glass objects, floral swags may be used to frame or highlight a particular area of the object, or to add a touch of color and delicacy.
On furniture, floral swags can be found on a variety of pieces, from cabinets and armoires to chairs and sofas. They are often used to enhance the lines and curves of the furniture, and can be used to create a sense of movement and flow in the design.
Overall, floral swags are a versatile decorative element that can be adapted to a range of styles and applications, and have been used in the decoration of various objects throughout history.
- Guilloche - A form of classical decoration consisting of a repeating ornament of interlacing curved bands, sometimes forming circles, and further decorated with rosettes or other flower forms.
The name is derived from the inventor, French engineer Guillot, who invented a mechanical method of inscribing fine repeating patterns on to metallic surfaces.
On enamelled items with guilloche decoration, the surface is firstly engraved with the repeating pattern, and then covered with several layers of enamel, each of which is fired.
Where the item has not been enamelled the form of decoration is usually called "engine turned".
- Garnet - A garnet is a mineral that is commonly used as a gemstone. It occurs in a wide range of colours, including red, pink, orange, green, yellow, and black. The most common and best known type of garnet is the red variety, which has a deep, rich colour and is often referred to as a "garnet red."
Garnets have a long history of use as gemstones, and they have been prized for their beauty and durability for thousands of years. They are often used in jewellery, such as rings, necklaces, and earrings, and they are also sometimes used as a decorative element in other items, such as vases and goblets.
Garnets are prized for their brilliance, durability, and resistance to scratching, making them a popular choice for use in jewellery. They are also valued for their hardness, which makes them well suited for use in abrasive applications, such as sandpaper and grinding wheels.
- Finial - An architectural decoration, found on the upper parts of of an object. On furniture they are usually found on pediments, canopies and shelf supports. On smaller ceramic or silver items, such as spoons, they may decorate the top of the item itself, or the lid or cover where they provide a useful handle for removal.
Finials have a variety of shapes and forms. They may be urn-shaped, baluster shaped round or spiral, but usually taper into an upper point. Many real life shapes may also be used as finials, such as pineapples, berries, pinecones, buds, lotus and acorns. Sometimes animals such as a lion are depicted, or fish and dolphins.
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