Tortoiseshell was a popular material in Nineteenth century jewelry. It came from the Hawksbill turtle (now an endangered species), and was deemed appropriate for half-mourning jewelry (designated as a specific time after full mourning, when the colors gray and lavender could be introduced into a widow’s wardrobe). This amazing bracelet is over 100 years old and in perfect condition. I believe the connecting oval and circular links to be celluloid, though I have no way of proving this, and wouldn’t hazard any invasive testing methods. They are a swirled caramel color and you can see an angled fused seam in each. Celluloid was often incorporated into jewelry and hair ornaments at the end of the 1800's. The larger 1-1/4”L x ¾”W keyhole shaped links are definitely real tortoiseshell as you can see the same pattern along one outside edge where the shell plates were joined. This is very subtle and visible only upon close examination.
The bracelet measures slightly over 8-1/2” and would fit a larger wrist. It is very light in weight, as would be expected, and has a rose gold (unmarked, untested) spring ring closure. It might be plated, or rolled gold, It is rosier in color than it appears in the pictures. There is some wear on the clasp, but it functions nicely. The jump rings are some other metal, one probably brass, the other copper. Guaranteed authentic and antique. C. 1890. No International Buyers on this piece.
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