This string of antique graduated Tortoiseshell beads would date from the Edwardian era, c1910 and are very likely of Oriental origin, either China or Japan. It is quite common to see pieces of tortoiseshell inlaid into and onto boxes and smaller items, but a string of beads of this quality is a rare find.
They have been made from 2 half cup shaped pieces of tortoiseshell that were joined together, possibly by a method of heating, to create a round bead. The workmanship is incredible as the colors flow and match and there is no visible evidence of a join unless you look through a loupe and even then, it’s hard to spot.
They measure 50cm in length (20”) and are secured by a celluloid or horn barrel clasp. They are very light in weight.
This item would be dispatched by First Class Signed For and Insured. Free postage with this purchase!