I've had this one for decades, the prettiest one of these small notebooks (called "aide d'memoire) I've ever seen. The beautiful old semi-transparent shell is steam formed to create its own spine which is then hinged. The 'page' inside is an ivory wafer hinged and fitted with the holder for the original stylus you see, which also remains with this one. There is, additionally, a hinged card holder which from the outside looks like a little cross, but it is spring-loaded and does hold calling cards or business cards in place (or a few bank notes, cash) in case you wish to use it as a palm-sized evening 'purse'. More like a piece of fine jewelry, all of that elaborate inlay on the front panel is 18k gold worked in carved recesses so it exists flat to the surface of the shell. In all, just splendid! RARE!
Very good to excellent for age and type, this one would date c.1850-70s, Napoleon III and is most likely an object initially offered through the luxury boutiques flanking the garden promenade of the old Palais Royal, Paris. Very slightly short of excellent, there is a tiny bug bite (marked with x for your review) on the lower right edge of the cover. Two other very tiny bug bites also are pointed out with 'x' on photos. No cracks, no chips, no hairlines. There is one surface scratch which shows up at certain angles of light and I've also marked it with an x for your review. Inlays are beautifully preserved and it bears my father's monogram, R P (or P R if you wish to read the overlaid letters that way).
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.