Collection Week: Tortoiseshell Jewellery

Tortoise shell (made from the Hawksbill turtle) was popular in the olden days before plastic because it could be easily carved and shaped. It was used to make everything from hair combs to jewellery to card cases. And like ivory, it is now a banned substance.

Most of my collection dates from the 40s and 50s. It was made for the tourist market in Caribbean (that’s why there’s so many fish). I was writing before about jewellery that I couldnt part with because of its rarity/sentimental attachment, but this collection will be with me until the end because I literally cannot trade nor sell it.