coral and gold teether
An 18 carat gold teether with coral, France, first quarter of the 19th century.
Since old times coral was widely known as a defense against evil. Especially in the period when children were teething a coral teething piece was used for the relief of pain and protection against evil and illness.
This particular item is a teething piece of coral made out of one branch of polished orange/red Italian coral which is called Sciacca set with a gold mounting decorated with three rows of cannetille. At the top is a suspension ring so the teether could be attached to the child with a ribbon or chain.
A reference photo is a painting by Pieter de Bloot from 1639 of a village fair with in the middle a aristocratic girl holding a teether.
weight: 14.8 grams
dimensions: 12.7 x 1.1 cm.