Antique 18K Gold Sewing Tools, French Faux Tortoise Shell Necessaire, Tortoiseshell Etui

NOTE: April 19, 2011 gold value is up to $1500.00 per oz.

Larger than usual, this elegantly polished and pique-inlaid antique faux shell etui houses a lovely set of 18K gold French sewing implements to include a mechanical pencil. True, it is not a perfect set. The thimble you see is a replacement and is 14K and a wedding thimble - valuable in its own right, of course (these sell around $200). The stiletto is no longer with the set nor is the lace bodkin (ribbon threading needle). The remaining implements are, however, the originals and they would, sold separately, bring a handsome price. They are each hallmarked in the usual post 1838 French fashion with the eagle's head in profile and also with the tiniest losenge or 'poincon' registered to the goldsmith who created this set, though it's truly too small to decipher, even with our microscope camera. Still, we know the set is pre-1860s - post 1838, narrowing it to the Napoleon III era.

Very good condition, though not perfect. Scissors are in fine shape, working perfectly and there are no splits on those handles. The needle case is equally pristine, no dents or damage. The mechanical pencil is also 18K gold and wants for only a slim lead which can be had in fine stationery stores. A lovely old set, not the least of which is the heavy handful of superb old shell that comprises the fitted case. Stunning in all aspects, it has the chocolate and cognac mottling that marks it as the treasure it is. A single chip on the lower half rim, noted in images, takes a bit more away from our price than it will from your enjoyment in owning it. Lovely!

Item ID: 707tsetui

$1,795 $1,526 USD SALE

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Antiques & Uncommon Treasure


Susan Dean, San Marcos, CA   

Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European

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