Art Deco Sulphides in Jewellery

Have you ever seen pretty cameo type figures set into paperweights or under glass in vintage jewellery? These are white or a silvery white in colour and depict all sorts of things including classical figures a bunch of flowers, a dog , cherub or angel .These white cameos in glass are known as sulfides ( or possibly sulphides). The most lovely are sulphides in Jewellery. They tend to be seen from the Victorian era through to the Art Deco times where they tend to be at their very best.

Sulphides in jewelleryWinged Creatures

The sulfides I find most attractive are the winged creature such as angels and fairies when set under glass and over the top of butterfly wings in art deco jewellery. These date from circa 1920s / 1930s and are usually mounted in silver although costume jewellery and gold ones are also sometimes available. They have quite sought after.

The term sulfide is thought to have been given to these little pictures as they originally had a very silver appearance looking like silver which is a little tarnished. The tarnish on silver is silver sulphide. Im not sure if this is true or not but I cant find a better explanation. Sulfides are not actually made of silver or glass but are a type of porcelain plaque made in the same way as the sprigged cameos on Wedgwood Jasper ware. The ceramic is pressed into a mould which is the reverse shape of the required figure. This porcelain melts at a higher temperature than glass enabling the plaques to be placed into the glass without damage.


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