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Tortoiseshell is the shell of the tortoise. It has been used as inlay and to make small decorative objects since the seventeenth century. Some species of tortoise were put on the endangered species list in 1972, and new objects made from these shells cannot be sold legally. Tortex, a type of plastic, has been accepted as a replacement for tortoiseshell since the endangered species act banned the natural material. There is also a Victorian glass that looks like a tortoise shell and is called tortoiseshell glass.


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Pattern or Item
Tea Box
2 Lids, Foil Lined Compartments, Brass Feet, England, 1800s, 6 1/2 In. illustrated
Year Priced
Photo Credit: Brunk Auctions

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