Mother of pearl is the common name for iridescent nacre, a blend of minerals secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells. The layer is there to protect them from parasites and other foreign objects, which I suppose includes harvesters.
M.O.P. has been used for many years on buttons, guitars and other instruments, religious pieces, silverware, mirrors and, oh yeah, opera glasses.
Mother of Pearl Entertainment Essentials and Home Decor, D.L. Rhein
If one of my girls asked me, “If she’s the mother of Pearl, who’s Pearl?” I would tell her the truth, of course… Elizabeth Taylor.
From apartments to palaces, everyone all over the world knows of Elizabeth Taylor’s love affair with jewels. The love of her life, Richard Burton, certainly knew how to treat a woman. Of course, he adorned his beautiful wife with a sixty-nine carat diamond (Danny, pay attention), and he also got her a pearl necklace with a five hundred year legacy and a poetic name. La Peregrina, shown below on the custom Cartier necklace commissioned by Burton and Taylor, means wanderer in Spanish, for this pearl got around the world before it ended up on the beautiful decolletage of Liz. Discovered by a slave in 1513 off the coast of Panama, given to his Spanish colonial leader, who in turn, freed him (we are told- Pollyanna believes). It went from Spain to England, as an engagement gift, back to Spain after a death, taken by France in a war (nasty Napoleon), and hawked by Napoleon’s nephew for cash back to England. It was from an aristocratic English family that Richard Burton bought the necklace in 1969. Isn’t it romantic… it’s natural beauty is so exquisite, it (almost) doesn’t need all those rubies, diamonds, and pearls.
Once again this beautiful pearl is going around the world on tour with Christie’s, along with other pieces from Liz’s collection, before they end up in New York for auction December 3-12. Tickets are available October 31, in case you want to jump on a jet and go (take me).