What do we know? It is bakelite, and faux tortoise shell, with picque treatment not unlike antique tortoise shell pieces. Look closely and see an incised design with green in it, possibly once metallic paint. All the rhinestones are intact, but some have gone dark (a look I love, so rich, so nuanced). It is molded. So it is definitely bakelite because the galalaith ("French bakelite") doesn't mold. It is carved. The design puts it somewhere close to Art Deco. The workmanship is definitely European, most likely French. I fantasize a producer who moved from tortoise shell (a cruel industry) crafting to Bakelite, treating the material in much the same way. After all, technically, both are resin.
What did I do? First removed the ham fisted glob of unidentifiable glue that served as an erstwhile patch, and inspected the break. Not too bad, but must remember that if I use the piece as a pendant, that area is weak and the crack could spread. So, in a bricolage fashion, I used watch crystal cement to seal the crack, and once cured, papered over the area with antique text soaked in resin. I then wired a harness to the piece that would hold the grand old boullion tassel and a rope of old stock glass pearls and Swarovski crystals. I then papered over that. Voila! A flapper's sautoir, of tiny pearls and crystals recycled from abandoned jewelry, right down to the nice spring loaded catch, many, many knots later.
I think the tassel and rope of pearls are just right with this beautiful antique, which I prefer to think of as a moth. Velvet wings, jewel colors, small spangles reflecting a lone lantern, etc.; very romantic. Go ahead, invite the sheik into your tent. You are young only once in this life! So wear this with your satin chemise and dancing pumps to the Hot Club de France, and don't skimp on the toddy. And click the link, it's Django Reinhardt, probably the most influential jazz guitarist of the 20th century, burning the air with his rendition of "Sheik of Araby." Now, are you in the mood to party?