19. Tortoiseshell Rabbit Head Cane -Ca. 1890 -Large Rabbit head carved in the customary horizontal shape with long, backward extending ears on a matching, elongated and slightly tapering stem with two ring collars, rosewood shaft and a horn ferrule. The bunny shows a likeable face with fine muzzle flanked by two inset glass eyes and above all the seducing warm and mottled colors of the noble material of the sea. Figural tortoiseshell canes were ultimate luxury, and, the successful combination of shape, colors and blameless surface, makes of this French cane a one-of-a-kind and great collectable. -H. 4 ¾” x 6 ¾”, O.L. 38 ¼” -$1,400-$1,800 -Tortoiseshell is an ornamental material obtained from the curved, horny shields forming the shell of the Hawksbill or of the Caretta turtle. The marbled, variegated pattern and deep translucence of the plates were used in veneering and in the manufacture of jewelry and other items since ancient times. Tortoiseshell was imported to Rome from Egypt and has found many uses through the centuries from the time it was first introduced to Europe by the East India Company in the 17th century. Tortoiseshell work was raised to the level of artistry with design applications such as veneer over wood with bone and ebony trimmings, marquetry, lacquered versions and inlays with gilded flowers, gold or silver. It became popular in the East as well as in Europe, where it was used as a material for jewel cases, trays, snuffboxes, canes and other decorative articles.