Japanese Bekko Eyeglass Case

Japanese Antique Tortoiseshell (Bekko) Spectacles Case | Showa era Eyeglass Case  


Age:1912-1945

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 5-1/2"l x 2-1/2"w x 1-3/4"d

Antique Japanese, two part spectacle case made from tortoiseshell (Bekko), with 1/10 gold bracket with silk cord enclosure. The Japanese family children, whose mother originally purchased the piece said it was from a Tokyo craftsman named Tanaka, who was a first generation Japanese Bekko craftsman specializing in traditional Tortoiseshell products for Japanese clientele during the Taisho and Early Showa Periods. No personalization or owner inscription, no makers mark.

Condition: Excellent condition and commensurate with age, no chips, no splits, no missing shell parts. Metal clip, (gold) works perfect in the attachment of the original silk cord holding both sections in place, very natural and visually tactile surface.

NOTE: Bekko was a traditional craftwork in the 1900s in which products were made from shell or nail of a type of sea turtle called Hawksbill turtle, that is now protected because it is a critically endangered sea turtle. It is known for its blackish brown mottled semi-transparent shell that was used in the 19th/c as the material to create ornaments and hair accessories.

Thanks to preservation efforts, animals and endangered materials, (e.g. ivory, tortoiseshell, and rare woods), are conservatively used today, if not banned altogether. However, we recognize that these materials have been important since ancient times for making a wide range of functional and decorative items. If we feature antique tortoiseshell or rare tree species it is because, while we support conservation, we truly feel that the historical nature and appreciation of historic artifacts should also be preserved and passed down in reverence.