A Cartier coral and emerald tortoise brooch. Designed by Cartier, the colourful tortoise brooch has gem accents. The shell is designed with coral discs set with cabochon emeralds in gold surrounds. The brooch is set on a 18K gold mount with a clasp of two prongs. The feet, head and tail of the tortoise are engraved with cross hatching to give the surface an animated appearance. The feet bear the makers mark on the underside. The tortoises eyes are accented with two small cabochon sapphires. The brooch is signed and numbered. Length 35.8mm. Circa 1960.
Due to its naturally appealing demeanour, precious coral has been sought-after for millennia. Many prehistoric and ancient burials in both Europe and north Africa contained jewellery and objects made of the gem. The Gauls used it for the ornamentation of their weapons and helmets. Immensely popular in the Victorian era, this coral continues to be in high demand even today.
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