Yes, this is quite a statement piece of vintage nephrite jade. But he is such a handsome stag, with his rather glorious antlers, which, by the look on his face, is a feature he is clearly proud of. To the Chinese, the deer is a symbol of long life. That is because he is the only creature who was able to unearth the sacred funghi which bestows longevity (which, by the way then is bestowed on the owner of the deer).
The carving of the stag is robust and expressive. The artisan who carved the stag utilized the natural mottling of the nephrite jade to create the animal’s coat. He is quite substantial, at
2¾ inches long, 2 inches wide and 5.7 mm thick.
The over-all effect of this necklace is meant to be interesting, intriguing, slightly playful, textured and colourful.
The stag hangs on natural Chinese turquoise beads (4 mm).
The necklace itself is comprised of two, antique, handmade, lost wax brass beads from West Africa (13 mm) followed by two antique, nephrite jade beads (14 mm).
There are then two antique carved carnelian beads (16.5 mm) from Afghanistan, inlaid with brass, lapis and turquoise.
Four swirl carved magnesite turquoise beads, in slightly varied size, from 23mm to 18 mm, give the necklace a colourful contrast to the majority of tans and cream tones. The craftsman who carved these beads, created a wonderful texture and colouration.
Magnesite is a mineral, magnesium carbonate, that has the same crystal structure as calcite. Its natural colour is cream and when carved and polished it features a dark web of veins or web-like matrix across its surface. This makes it an attractive gem to use. It is often dyed to a turquoise colour, which is completely stable.
There are two antique carved nephrite beads (18 mm), in a natural cream and tan colouring, but if you look closely, they have been carved with the head of Buddha.
Two larger antique nephrite jade beads (20 mm) in a mottled cream colour are flanked by vintage Chinese brass coins (22 mm).
I have then knotted the silk/polyester cord with the traditional Chinese “flat knot” as well as the “button knot”. This is not only a classical Chinese technique, but it lightens the necklace and makes it quite comfortable to wear. It also sets off the design.
I have used a vermeil toggle clasp. Toggle clasps are easy to use and secure. My silver name label is attached at the clasp.
The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with its own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor.
The necklace is 19 inches long (48.5 cm)
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Unique, stunningly chic gemstone necklaces, known as wearable art
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