MOTHER OF PEARL SHELL PAINTING
Mother of pearl shell painting of a sailing cargo vessel illustration. I acquired this piece in Manila, Philippines in the 1970's, but it most likely originated in China and was a trade item. It dates from the late 19th century, is signed by the artist, 'H. Sam . . .?' and measures 10" high x 9" wide. There is some minor small paint flake loss but otherwise in good condition.
Mother of Pearl's organic name is Nacre (neikar / Nay-ker / naeker / NAK-re) and is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer. It also makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is a strong, resilient and iridescent material.