Guilloche Enamel: The Fabergé Connection

Towards the end of the 19th century a new technique in jewellery design became increasingly more popular: Guilloche enamelling.

The popularity of this technique was no doubt helped immensely by the fact that the Russian master goldsmiths of Fabergé often employed the technique to great effect in the firm's work. When we think of Fabergé images of colourful and luxurious jewels and the famed Imperial Easter Eggs appear in our mind's eye. Alongside the use of pearls, gems, silver and gold, guilloche enamel played a significant part in achieving the look of Fabergé's iconic creations. The technique was highly popular in Europe and the Western world and many designs from the 20th century showcase the beauty of guilloche enamel.

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'Celia's Awakening' Lapponia Sterling Silver Ring by Björn Weckström, 1969
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PRICE
'Celia's Awakening' Lapponia Sterling Silver Ring by Björn Weckström, 1969
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PRICE
'Celia's Awakening' Lapponia Sterling Silver Ring by Björn Weckström, 1969
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Guilloche enamelling is a technique in which translucent enamel is placed over metal that has been previously engraved with a decorative pattern (guilloché).  The underlying engraving is revealed by the transparency of the enamel and a beautiful effect is created in the contrast between light and shade in the movements of the pattern.

An enamel paste is created by mixing powdered coloured glass with water. The paste is then applied to the metal which is then fired afterwards to harden the enamel.  The process may be repeated with more layers of enamel being added to build up the colour-intensity.
Finally, the enamel is polished to achieve a smooth and highly reflective surface.

Guilloche enamel