57. Tula Silver Dress Cane -Ca. 1900 -Sizeable and well-proportioned Tula silver crook handle decorated in the Art Nouveau taste with blooms within various framing elements, rosewood shaft and a horn ferrule. Notable is the ergonomically side wards inclined nose for the comfort of the wearer’s hand. The cane was used but still is in good condition spare for minor scratches totally in keeping with its age and use and does not in any way decrease its beauty or function. A full set of hallmarks authenticate it for silver and an Austrian origin. -H. 4” x 2 ¾”, O.L. 34 ½” -$400-$500 -Tula, also called Niello is an alloy made of silver, lead and copper adding a certain amount of sulphur. This mixture creates the typical grayish- black enamel like filling. Tula’s melting point (approximately 500 °C) is significantly below that of silver at 800 °C. In order to bring the Tula on to the silver, a pattern must be etched, engraved or cut out of the work piece leaving gaps. Using an open flame or oven, these gaps are then filled with the melted Tula. Obviously, because this process is very difficult and time consuming, this Caucasian specialty is today almost extinguished.