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  1. #1
    Member lizard's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on these old pearls

    A friend in her mid-eighties asked me to re-string these pearls for her. She said her Aunt had given them to her mother, back in Austria and that she thought they were at least 100 years old. I presume they would be natural pearls? What sort of oysters and regions would have been producing pearls like this?
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  2. #2
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Cool. They could come from several places in the world, and potentially, a few types of mollusks. Could be Pinctada radiata from the Persian Gulf. Being adorably baroque, but without provenance, they aren't auction winners, but should be passed down in her family. The book "Pearls" by Elisabeth Strack lists species habitat areas and has great information about natural pearls.

    I owned and lost a freshwater pearl necklace 30 years ago that could have been its sister strand. I miss it to this day.

    Thank you for sharing this great photo. Please post another one when it's restrung.
    Blaire

  3. #3
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Lizard, how awesome you will be restringing these! Amazing luster after so many years.
    Pattye


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  4. #4
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
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    Amazing luster. I was thinking Middle East for the pearls?

  5. #5
    Member lizard's Avatar
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    Thank you for the thoughts - I was thinking Middle Eastern too, so I'm glad I'm not totally off base. I am fascinated by them, although they are small. I think there is some more recent pearls in there that may have been mixed in to lengthen it - they have a larger hole, so I have moved them to the ends near the catch, so they don't interfere with the main event. There is a bit of a mix in lustre and orient, so I am trying to take care with placement for best effect.

    My friend had them professionally re-strung and the jeweller said they weren't worth knotting in between, but that left the strand too short to wear, which is why I plucked up the courage to have a go. My first attempt, I managed to snag and break the thread about two thirds of the way through, but at least that is holding them well-ordered while I start re-stringing from the other end. I'll put up a picture when finished.

  6. #6
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    I'm shocked that they would say they weren't worth individually knotting. It's rude -- or at the least -- presumptuous to tell a client that, regardless of their opinion on the pearls.

    Caitlin would have loved this strand, and this thread.

  7. #7
    Member lizard's Avatar
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    Here they are, all strung. Looking at pictures, it may not be the norm to knot between these, but it has made them long enough.

    The first picture shows the difference between the nuggetty original pearls and the rice crispie style ones that someone seems to have added (this could have been with the recent re-stringing - my friend said originally the middle of the strand was knotted between, but not the sides/ends). I moved the rice crispies to the ends - they had been intermingled.

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    And a neck shot in better daylight
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    After looking through photos, I did wonder whether the nugget shapes meant they were more likely to be river pearls (Scottish?) than the middle eastern ones.

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Hi Lizard, the strand looks beautiful and so delicate!

  9. #9
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    How very precious; you've done a beautiful stringing job, Lizard.
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Well done !! That looks very sweet !

  11. #11
    Member lizard's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement! My friend is excited to be able to wear her pearls again, so well worth the patient effort with these.

  12. #12
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
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    Middle East had plenty of nugget shaped pearls, and the Scots had some roundish ones, so it's hard to tell. The thing I always noticed was that the Scottish pearls had a very dull surface, while the Middle East pearls had a strong luster.

  13. #13
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    They are so delicate and pretty. How lovely to be able to restore them for a friend.

  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert 86Corvettegirl's Avatar
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    Beautiful job in restringing these. I love the unusual look of them & the luster is incredible!! I'm leaning toward Middle Eastern pearls! I know your friend is thrilled & I hope she continues to wear them for years to come.

  15. #15
    Member lizard's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your thoughts. These definitely have a good lustre, so Middle Eastern fits.

    On talking further with my friend, the Aunt, who left them as a bequest, had lost her husband and daughter to the war and fled Austria to England, where she ended up working as a housemaid, so we think she either fled Austria with them or received them as a gift from her employer there.

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