It doesn't get bigger, bolder, or better than this one!
Recently we sold one of these very, very chunky bracelets with a hardstone nugget where the buddha is on this one and at that time we didn't think it could get any better. Happily, we found this one and think it is at least equal to or better than that one!!
We did our best to use a tape measure to measure the inside circumference of this bracelet which comes out to 7". To be sure, you will need to compare to other bracelets you have or measure out a length of string or flexible material to 7" and wrap it around your wrist and the area directly above your wrist for about 2 3/4" to gage the fit.
The bracelet features numerous raised enamel 'auspicious' symbols all of which represent prosperity, wealth, happiness, and longevity. For example, the endless knot is said to symbolize, "long life, eternal love and the interconnection of things as well as the infinite knowledge of Buddha."
All of these raised areas are on an intricately filigreed mesh and gold-washed sterling silver framework. The very large central link harkens to a ruyi form which also traditionally indicates the traits mentioned above. The gold wash is most apparent on the inside and is just wonderfully mellow toned on the outside. Great deep patina which provides contrast that only highlights the wonderful enamelled features.
It weighs 78 gms (2.8 oz).
There are three links with 2 secure hinges and a box clasp. A safety chain is fixed on one side and hooks on the other (hook bent in order to get it to stay when on). The central link is, of course, the 'star' of the show with its large, polished and carved hardstone buddha. The color of the hardstone (probably carnelian) is a wonderful rusty color with lighter areas towards the top. As you can tell from the photos of both the front and back sides of the stone, it has natural occlusions. On the front it shows up as a lighter area - almost a halo on the top of the head. At first I thought that the right top of the stone was chipped, but in fact it is not. I examined under 10x magnification and it is carved and shaped and definitely not chipped. One of the photos shows it at a side angle where you can see that it is intact and not chipped.
The overall condition of this 90-100+ year old bracelet is superb (excellent). There is very, very minor enamel loss and all is visible on the photos.
The center link measures 3 1/8" wide by 2 3/4" high. Each of the side links measures 2 1/2". The center link stands up 1/2" above the wrist.
There are no markings but we tested this and it tested strongly for sterling silver.
As an aside: Some sites refer to the cloisonne enamel work on this piece as being "French" enamel. The original idea of the "cloisons" does derive from the French language, to describe the wired "cells" that contain and define the areas of enamel. These bracelets however, were made in China and should not, therefore, be called "French".
Note: The same bracelet sold on Ebay in March 2013 for $2800.00!!
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