A few of my hand carved antique Mother of Pearl pins........
Over the years I have discovered that these beautiful and intricately carved pins have a long history that reaches back across time. Many of them have been carved in Bethlehem. Where since the time of the crusades artisans have been carving mother of pearl for the tourist trade. Yep...Even hundreds of years ago tourists bought souvenirs. During WWll from what I have been told the 5 point star was somehow tied into women who's son's served in the military. But that I have never seen in print. If you you happen to come across a pin or pendant and you are unsure about it's age. Flip it over and look at the clasp. Made of brass or silver with a C clasp (that is just a piece of metal bent over in the shape of a C so the bar can hook into it) A newer pin will have a modern clasp that has been glued on. The older ones have been drilled into the shell..And the pin will have an old patina. You may also see the name Bethlehem stamped into the metal or carved the shell. If you find one or have one of your own you know what a delightful treasure they are ...Glowing with a a life all there own. I for one can't seem to stop collecting them and even though I have about 85 pieces I am always finding one that I just can't live without. Thanks to Jill and Lauren my fellow Junkin Gypsies I discovered a real beauty yesterday...Sigh. My fingers are crossed it will still be in that antique store case next week.
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