A very unique carved red coral and tortoise shell ornamental comb, tiara, or jewelry item. The unique form in which this one is made makes it as special as do the beautifully hand carved red coral berries and leaves that comprise its upper presentation. Thoroughly charming, it dates to early 1830s, perhaps as late as mid Victorian at latest. The substantial matrix is tested and confirmed to be 18k yellow gold. There's no way to weigh it separately, of course, but in full, the lightweight coral adds in and total weight it 18 grams. NOTE: The red coral is a talisman for protection of the wearer from harm. Coral has long been thought of as a protective amulet. Going back to ancient times, it was thought to be the solidified tendrils of the blood from the severed head of Medusa, and to have the properties of protection for the wearer, particularly if the wearer is a child. Such interesting lore attends these old pieces, and the traditions cross over into modern times. So, with this combination, one can surmise that this fine jewelry piece would have been a symbolic wish for the eternal protection of the wearer, perhaps? A charming idea for a gift to someone you cherish and would, likewise, wish to guard throughout eternity, no? Measurements noted on photos, too, but it is 4" long and 3" widest.
Very good to excellent condition, for age and type. The red coral is what we find from early Victorian Grand Tour souvenir jewelry, Italy, Naples arts. The tortoise shell is exquisite and undamaged. The beautifully hand carved berries of a quality equal to those I've just seen in the jewelry collection at the British Museum and the V&A Museum, London. The photos give you a good look at it from all angles. There may be a tiny nip somewhere on coral tips of leaf, but if so, it certainly does not detract from either the aesthetic appeal nor the value of this fine jewelry item. The box is not original to this item and is used only to show it off for our photos. It will not be included in the sale, though we will provide a new presentation box to house and protect it for shipment.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.