Archives for posts with tag: enamel

8 immortalsDIA165mm, China

The figurines on this necklace used to be the ornaments of a child’s hat.  A special hat would be made for the child’s birth, 100 days celebration and the first birthday.  The hat is seen as a blessing for the child, depending on the gender, family social status, the design of the hat varies.

The gold plated enamel ornaments would have belongs to a hat of a wealth family.  The 9 figurines are the 8 Immortals (one either side) + the god of Longevity (in the middle).  The 8 Immortals are; Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li, Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Elder Zhang Guo Lao, Lan Cai He, Immortal Woman He Zian Gu, Leader Lu Dong Bin, Han Zhong Li and Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu, they are Taoist saints who are not very powerful and have a few human frailties.  One of the many stories of the 8 Immortals is about their birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West and thus the appearance is associated with birthdays and blessings.

Here is a clip from the Xiang opera “8 Immortals birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West”

 Collectible Jewellery
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CIR 55mm (UK size O), China

I had a similar ring when I was a teenager, it was one of my favorite.  It has a “pure silver” mark in Chinese (but as a human guinea pig I can verify that it is really pure silver as I suffer badly with metal allergy, only pure gold and silver would pass the test, how posh is that!)

Enamel was brought into China from France in the Qing dynasty (17th century) and was immediately adored by Emperor; workshops for the court were set up in Imperial Court in Beijing and in Guangdong.  It then became popular throughout the country during the reign of the next 2 emperors.  The type of enamel produced in China was mainly cloisonne, where a thin wire is applied to form cells to hold the enamel.

L650xW100mm, China

This is a ladies’ silver waist hanging ornament, highlighted with enamel pendant pieces.  On the top three layers, small bells are hang making a delightful charm as one move around.  At the bottom hung 5 accessories; 2 type of knive, a shove, toothpick and earpick (a traditional Chinese style Swiss army knife).