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Artisan Necklace But Is This Really Pearl?

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  • Artisan Necklace But Is This Really Pearl?

    Just bought this at the antique mall where I sell, the dealer bought it in Europe, he is guessing 1920's, heavy unmarked silver over what I think is pearl material, I can't get a tooth to it nor a fingernail, and don't want to risk scratching it. Although it looks uniform on both sides it is not, there are differences, and I am guessing it is at least pearl related, or possibly one of the shell varieties? Did not photograph the back as it is solid metal with the "pearl" not visible. I am assuming this is "mother of pearl" but wanted to run this one by the experts.

    Daddys Little Pearl

    Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures on RubyLane

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    Daddys Little Pearl
    Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures

  • #2
    Are the "chambers" open, and the top flat or does it have raised sections? Looks like nautilus pearl shell to me, what an interesting piece.
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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ID:	349404Very raised, nearly an inch, and all chambers are open, here are more photos. At first I thought the artisan had "created" the centerpiece by gluing or fusing small shell pieces together, but I can't see any glue and it looks like an entire item. Hard to tell if the top part is applied, as there is silverwork covering the corners. Just had to have it.

      Daddys Little Pearl
      Daddys Little Pearl
      Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures

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      • #4
        Very cool piece! I think Pattye is right about the nautilus shell. You can see the chambers (chambered nautilus.)

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        • #5
          It looks like sliced and peeled nautilus shells. Which shells are fabulously iridescent. We have a very long thread about nautilus pearls which seem to be the world's most elusive pearl. Nautilus shells are also cut into "Osmena Pearls" the link goes to google images files for osmena pearls but some nautilus chambers also show up.
          Caitlin

          How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

          My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

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          • #6
            Click image for larger version

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ID:	349406Here's a cutaway of a nautilus shell I took from Ebay listing, for educational purposes:
            Pattye


            PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

            facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

            SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

            Comment


            • #7
              Well Pattye, there is my necklace! Which brings up a dumb question, obviously I know how a pearl is born or created depending on natural or cultured, and in an oyster, but shells also contain and I assume produce Nacre as they grow, so why is their material not considered pearl? Oh so much to learn and so little time!

              Daddys Little Pearl
              Daddys Little Pearl
              Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures

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              • #8
                Blister pearls do grow in the shell, but unattached pearls are generally thought of as being accidental (or on purpose) objects created when nacre producing cells get into the body of the mollusk. The nacre producing cells are on the edge of the mantle and lay down the layers of shell. When these special cells get into the body of the mollusk, they usually reproduce into a sack and still keep growing nacre inside the sack. The shape of the sack determines the shape of the pearl.

                I looked up "define pearl" and all the definitions are verbose yet don't provide a simple definition, there are so many qualifiers. So I just tried to develop one on my own.
                Caitlin

                How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

                My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

                Comment

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