Gutta-percha is a genus of tropical trees native to the Southeast Asia and northern Australasia regions. An inelastic natural latex material is produced from the sap of the trees which is also referred to as gutta-percha. The beneficial properties were discovered by Westerners in 1842, and the substance was initially used as an electrical insulator. A few years later gutta-percha became a popular material used to manufacture furniture and then mourning jewelry because it was easily carved and very resilient.
A gorgeous necklace from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This wonderful Gutta-percha and horn piece has a beautiful and bold look. The chain consists of graduated Gutta-percha oval links that connect to one another through two holes in the center of each. The larger links are in the center of the chain with the smaller ones on the ends, closer to the pendant. This common Victorian link is what the modern-time "Gucci link" was replicated from. Attached to the bottom of the chain are 2 small darkened silver rings connecting to 1 large clasped jump ring.
Hanging from the large jump ring is a very large, hand carved medallion made of Gutta-percha and animal horn. It portrays the hand carved Gutta-percha image of a winged woman/angel holding a cherub carrying a torch. The details in the angel and cherub are spectacular, showing every feature in their faces and hair. The wings of the angel along with her gown are also intricately carved showing every fold and crease. There also looks to be some sort of serpent incorporated and rests behind the winged woman. The Gutta-percha medallion is set on a horn plaque with cut-out detail work along the edges. This plaque is set on yet another horn plaque that is shaped like a shield with 3 tear dropped shaped points protruding from both the top and the bottom. This beautiful necklace and pendant is very special and unusual and would make a fabulous addition to any collection!
Measurements: The chain measures approximately 19" long. The largest Gutta-percha link measures 1 1/8" long, 7/8" wide and 1/4" thick. One of the smallest links measures 3/4" long, 1/2" wide and 3/16" thick. The pendant measures approximately 1 3/4" wide, 2 1/4" long and 1" in depth.
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace and pendant is excellent. There are no chips in the horn or in the Gutta-percha chain or pendant. The clasp is secure and in good working condition.