The art of embellishing jewelry with glazed or enameled techniques dates back to antiquity. Whether to add vivid color in place of costly gemstones or to embellish intricately sculpted elements, the painstaking process of enameling defies the modern concept of speedy, efficient production.
The December 4 and 5 Important Jewelry auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers features a fascinating cross-section of enameling history, dating back to its forbearers in ancient Egypt to modern masters like David Webb.
Some of the earliest examples of enamel are more similar to glazed pottery than the enamel work we recognize today. Egyptian faience, dating from at least the 14th century B.C., used a more porous material than glass, as seen in this “eye of Horus” motif necklace.