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Thread: Early Akoyas

  1. #1
    Art historian and devout NCN Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Nora's Avatar
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    Default Early Akoyas

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    Those beautiful akoya pearls were bought in 1922. There are 99 pearls: the biggest is 7.5 mm. and the smallest 3.3.mm.

    I would appreciate any information about the number of farms in Japan or any place else before this year.
    Nora

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    From 1922??? That is very early!

    Mikimoto started commercial cultivation in 1916 and they first appeared publicly in Europe in 1921. According to Strack, there were 33 farms in Japan by 1926, nine of which were owned by Mikimoto.

    If the pearls were purchased in 1922, I would say the chances are that they are early Mikimoto pearls from one of his first harvests.

  3. #3
    Art historian and devout NCN Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Nora's Avatar
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    Thank you Jeremy, I suspected they might be Mikimoto's earliest pearls.

    Today this strand belongs to Polina, my sister-in-law . Her grandfather was a well-to- do Greek merchant who married on the 18th of March 1923. His wife Polina (my sis-in-law is named after her), received this strand of pearls as an engagement present six months earlier.
    Nora

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    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Very gorgeous pearls with an impeccable provenance! Are you restringing them?
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  5. #5
    Art historian and devout NCN Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Nora's Avatar
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    Yes Pattye, I washed them, restringed them. Now they are with Polina where they belong.
    Nora

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    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Wow! What an amazing find!

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    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Thank you for the pix!!! that is a special necklace. so happy to see it here!!
    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.

  8. #8
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Ash's Avatar
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    Beautiful pearls Nora! Fabulous find!

    Cheers

    Ash
    Cheers,
    Ash

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member mausketeer's Avatar
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    did you take a photo of the finished strand nora? they're just lovely!

    - jodie -
    "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
    - Lucy Maude Montgomery -

  10. #10
    Art historian and devout NCN Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Nora's Avatar
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    I returned the finished strand to my sister-in-law, but I will take a picture and show it here. Meanwhile I'm attaching a photo of the same necklace from Polina's wedding in 1976.

    I have made several phone calls to Athens, trying to find a photo of Polina's grandmother (who she was named after) wearing the same strand, but for the moment no positive results.
    Most of the pre-war family photos were lost during their movement from one hiding to another. Taking special care of jewelry was more important than any other personal belonging, as the jewelry could serve to buy food.

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    Nora

  11. #11

    Default your picutre of early akoya

    Quote Originally Posted by Nora View Post
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    Those beautiful akoya pearls were bought in 1922. There are 99 pearls: the biggest is 7.5 mm. and the smallest 3.3.mm.

    I would appreciate any information about the number of farms in Japan or any place else before this year.
    --------------------------------------
    I am just writing a book on pearls, is allowed to use this picutre in my book if note you name an your copyright

    Georg wiesauer, A-8010 Graz Stempfergasssee 10 F.G.G. , F.G.A.,
    pearl wholesaler gemmologist,

  12. #12
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BlackPearlDudeDC's Avatar
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    Always something interesting to find in the historical threads.

  13. #13

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    I have several necklaces from art deco or early period, with akoya pearls, most of the times pearls are yellowish, quite irregular, but not so bad, the main issue is often an banded color inside, if the pearls have been worn a bit, the color can be seen through.
    I think I probably found several strands from the 20's, I am in France, maybe it helps.

    However there is something I don't understand.
    The brand "Tecla" is selling cultured pearls for a long time now.
    Sadly it's not very easy to understand, as cultured pearls had a bad reputation in the early period, maybe they used the term "man made, artificial , scientific" to describe cultured pearls?
    And based from this add from 1926, they do it for 25 years, making the brand born in 1901.
    However as they are describing a "new process", is the new process a cultured pearl from Japan, and older process a simulated glass bead pearl?
    I have another add, from 1937, talking about pearls "directly from orient", and before the 30's, nothing specifically mentionning cultured pearls, only "scientific" "imitation" or "professor tecla" pearls.

    What is weird is when you phone to the brand (still existing) they don't even know the company already existed at least since 1908 (oldeds adds I found) and moved from 10 to 2, rue de la paix, in the 30's

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  14. #14
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    I was under the impression that Tecla were faux pearls and always were.

    The ads around the turn of the previous century were always worded deceptively to make them sound like cultured pearls while still technically saying they were man made faux pearls. Today, those ads would be tarketed as deceptive advertising. They often used words like scientific and oriental and cultured while never actually saying that THEIR beads are actually pearls.

  15. #15

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    yes this is what I wanted to point.
    I found some ads from another company (maybe terisa, not sure, maybe in late 20's or so, don't remember), targeting tecla brand, arguing "our pearls are not "science" item made by a "science doctor" or so, but cultured pearls from japan", and after that, in the "30's, we start to see tecla mentioning cultured pearls from asia.
    It seems the "science" or similar vocabulary to be quite common in the 20's, many companies semm to let a doubt, I think some were obviously manufacturers, but other, maybe retailers of japanese cultured pearls.

    It's very hard to get more informations, as only a few prooves are available, and nothing is available about history, this is a bit why I want to work on it, get informations, advetisments, samples, with prooves of moment these were made or acquired, it's very hard to find.

    I have a double strand with old mine cut diamonds, and cultured pearls (removed, too much were damaged, I built a single strand from 3 different strands...)the clasp is obviously from victorian period, so, if there are some cultured pearls on it, these were probably a later addition.
    But I also have 4 cultured strands with clasps from 20's to 30's, and I think 2 at least never were restrung.

    I don't know if the earliest akoya used american freshwater nucleus or something else, i have several samples, could be interesting to see what is inside.

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