1930s Art Deco Jewelry Carved Tortoise Shell w Cats Eyes Necklace #9792

Item number: 9792

For the serious collector, this stunning 1930s Art Deco tortoise shell necklace is very rare. It is exceptionally large and weighty with large hand carved tortoise shell segments, each adorned with inset Cats Eyes.

Each tortoise segment has a hand cut center area carved out to accommodate a Cats Eye. The Cats Eyes are jade green, brown and white and each shell is highly domed. The Cat's Eyes are operculums, or the foot of the Pacific Turban shell.

The size of the cats eyes helps to date this necklace. As a malacologist I can tell you that these operculums came from very large shells, which cant be collected anymore. Large Pacific turban shells are very rare today if not extinct. Turban shells with operculums this large just arent found this size anymore. Basedon the way this necklace was made and the incorporation of the Cats Eyes I would attribute this piece to old shell carvers in Fiji.

There are 17 tortoise segments on this necklace joined by heavy gauge sterling silver jump rings. The center segment is 2 1/4" long and other large segments are 1 1/2" long. The smallest segments at the top are 1" long.

This necklace took an unbelievable amount of time to make. Each tortoise segment was hand carved with beveled edges on all four sides. If you look at the backs, you can see handmade carving marks .

This necklace is 20 " long and 1 1/4" wide at the center segment. It is in excellent condition and both the cats eyes and the tortoise shell have very nice gloss retention.

There are no imperfections that would detract from the value of this piece. On the backs, one tortoise segment has a small edge flake (one segment to the side of the center) and one small segment has a flea bit edge chip on the back.

The handmade copper links that join the tortoise shell have a darkened patina from age. Once again, this necklace is extremely rare!