Vintage hand carved translucent horn pendant. 1960s. 48x48mm. b3-ho34

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Vintage unique hand carved translucent horn pendant from the 1960s. Very fine openwork scroll type carving. This piece has a lot of hand work.  This cow horn has undergone a cold water soaking and boiling process to create the flat shape and  transparent look of tortoise shell. 48x48mm.  From a collector's estate.

We have several of these pendants.  Each one is similar but unique due to the material and hand carving, and may vary within 1.5mm in size.

There is an interesting history to this type of processed horn.  Starting in the mid-15th century, hornbooks, used by school children, consisted of a wooden paddle with tacked on lessons and covered by a protective piece of transparent horn.  The horn was left in cold water for several weeks, which separated the usable part from the bone. It was then heated, first in boiling water then by fire, and pressed to make it flat, smooth and transparent.


Translucent carved horn pendants were popular in Art Nouveau jewelry.  Pendants like these are rather rare today.