COCCA DI PEELA.
of the nautilus of the Indian Ocean, so much used in the last century,
seems to partake of the nature of the pearl and of the mother-of-pearl.
The substance of the " cocca" is identical with that of the pearl,
which it seems is not produced by the nautilus.
cocca of pearl is formed of a membrane of mother-of-pearl, often
iridescent, almost always a perfect oval, and therefore very easily
extremely brittle on account of its thinness, it is nevertheless
sufficiently hard. It is rendered artificially less fragile, by
dropping melted gum into its hollow. However, this operation has the
disadvantage of imparting a yellowish colour to the cocca.
cocca is obtained by sawing carefully the raised convolutions of the
nautilus shell. This work is prosecuted almost exclusively in London
and Holland; it merely requires a light hand which understands the
handling of the saw.
Genoa there were very clever artists, who could not only saw the
nautilus with elegant precision, but make flowers and leaves of it,
thus forming light inexpensive ornaments; and in this art the Genoese
were excelled by none. I believe that this work has been now for a long
time neglected, but it is desirable that