Telling the Tooth

Gold and gold jewellery is universally recognised as portable wealth. The more gold items that a person is seen wearing, perhaps the wealthier they are portraying themselves to be. For many centuries, wealthy and influential individuals would not stop at gold jewellery and would have many of their everyday items crafted from gold.

Lot 559 in the upcoming Jewellery Auction on 6 June includes a nine-carat gold propelling toothpick.

Toothpicks have been used for thousands of years and by the 17th century the majority of people settled for standard wooden picks, like those often seen in westerns. In the early twentieth century, it was only the wealthy that could afford to have these items made in gold.

Another popular everyday practical item that began to emerge in gold was the propelling pencil. Lot 741 is one such item.


To view the Jewellery catalogue in full please click here >>


McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other Scottish auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.

Written by Amy Cameron

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