CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES

Everlasting Luxury of Tortoiseshell

1 minute read

From elegant tea caddies and canes, to grand sideboards and mirrors, tortoiseshell has been utilized to create some of the most beautiful works of decorative art for centuries. Due to the difficulty in working the material and the extreme expense in acquiring it, it was reserved for only the most important pieces.

This beautiful George III tea caddy is enveloped in elegant tortoiseshell. Caddies of rare tortoiseshell are especially prized, for they are among the scarcest and most luxurious examples produced.

This beautiful George III tea caddy is enveloped in elegant tortoiseshell. Caddies of rare tortoiseshell are especially prized, for they are among the scarcest and most luxurious examples produced.

This rare and exquisite material is mainly produced from the shell of the hawksbill sea turtle. The large size and unique, unevenly distributed shades of orange, brown, and black make the hawksbill’s shell especially suitable for these beautiful crafts. Early European artisans sought out shell material despite its expensive price because it was easily molded by heat unlike other similar, ductile materials.

This stunning decorative cane is enveloped in tortoiseshell and gold

This stunning decorative cane is enveloped in tortoiseshell and gold

The final product would be a flexible yet durable material with a vibrantly mottled appearance.  In our gallery, we have a wide array of tortoiseshell products that are truly amazing in color and form. Come by today and see for yourself!

Louis XIV Period Tortoiseshell Mirror

Louis XIV Period Tortoiseshell Mirror

View M.S. Rau Antiques' current selection of tortoiseshell rarities here.

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