Using items formed by nature in one's decorating brings a sense of connectedness with the natural world around us. Seashells are some of my favorites to use, but I am especially fond of Mother of Pearl. Its glowing translucent quality has captured my heart.
The history of Mother of Pearl is quite interesting. Before people understood the value of a pearl, pearl producing clams were harvested not for their pearls, but for the luminescent Mother of Pearl layer inside the shell. Harvesters would actually throw away the pearls and children were known to use them as marbles! (For information source click here)
The Victorians prized seashells. They created all sorts of things from them, from calling card plates to intricate salt cellars.
This Victorian calling card plate is carved from a single large pearl producing clam.
Mother of pearl is also referred to as Nacre. Nacre is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks as an inner shell layer. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.
Nacre is secreted by the mantle tissue of some mollusks. The nacre is continuously deposited onto the inner surface of the shell, the iridescent nacreous layer. The layers of nacre smooth the shell surface and help defend the soft tissues against parasites and damaging foreign particles by entombing them in successive layers of nacre, forming either a blister pearl attached to the interior of the shell, or a free pearl within the mantle tissues. The process is called encystation and it continues as long as the mollusk lives.
Now you know how pearls are formed! This information is cited from Wikipedia.
These salt cellars are polished to reveal their mother of pearl
Sweet Little French MOP Knives ☺ I'm not sure what their purpose is. Some have said they are letter openers, other have said they are for serving caviar. Whatever their purpose, they are wonderful.
I wanted to thank all of you who have left comments on my last several posts. My days have been super busy and it has been difficult to get back to all of you. I'll hopefully be posting soon on what I've been up to.
Hope you enjoyed the post!