Turtle Brooch in Coral and 14k yellow gold

Turtle Brooch made from Coral and 18K Gold
Turtle Brooch made from Coral and 18K Gold

A Turtle Brooch made from Coral and 18K Gold. The shell is made from an oval coral cabochon, measuring approximately 8.1 x 6.5 mm, set in a 14k yellow gold mounting, measuring approximately 26 x 15 x 9 mm, gross weight 3.13 grams

Sold for $125 at Clars Auction Gallery

 

Animals have provided inspiration for jewellery designers for centuries and are extremely collectible items. In Hindu mythology the world is thought to rest on the backs of four elephants who stand on the shell of a turtle. In Hinduism, Akupara is a tortoise who carries the world on his back, upholding the Earth and the sea. One Avatar of Vishnu is the giant turtle Kurma.

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Corals’ many colors give it appeal for necklaces and other jewelry. Intensely red coral is prized as a gemstone. Sometimes called fire coral, it is not the same as fire coral. Red coral is very rare because of overharvesting.

Always considered a precious mineral, “the Chinese have long associated red coral with auspiciousness and longevity because of its color and its resemblance to deer antlers (so by association, virtue, long life, and high rank”. It reached its height of popularity during the Manchu or Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when it was almost exclusively reserved for the emperor’s use either in the form of coral beads (often combined with pearls) for court jewelry or as decorative Penjing (decorative miniature mineral trees). Coral was known as shanhu in Chinese. The “early-modern ‘coral network’ began in the Mediterranean Sea and found its way to Qing China via the English East India Company”. There were strict rules regarding its use in a code established by the Qianlong Emperor in 1759. Reference: Wikipedia