A rare, antique celadon jade flower pendant is the main focus of this necklace. At 2 inches across, and 2 mm in depth, this slightly smokey tan and celadon jade carved flower was probably sewn onto a hat or a robe, as a sort of button decoration, worn sometime in the 19th century in China. It is possible that the piece is around 1820, but it could be later in the 19th century. It is always difficult to date jade exactly as the Chinese copied themselves and past styles throughout their history. But the patina, and the delicacy of the carving makes this an old piece of jade. The flower is also difficult to label, as it could be a peony or a chrysanthemum, both Chinese favorites, but I suspect it is the latter. The chrysanthemums signifies of the Autumn and joviality. It is also associated with a life of retirement from public office. The poet T'ao Chi'ien chose to devote his life to poetry, music, wine and chrysanthemum growing. This jade button could have been an emblem for such a life.
The necklace itself consists of a number of different elements. The main stone is heat treated chalcedony, creating a soft mint colour in these faceted nuggets at approximately 18 mm by 1 inch long. There are four vintage carved celadon jade beads at 3/4 of an inch long and 13.8 mm deep. At the start of the necklace, near the pendant, are 2 vintage stone coloured jade discs at 3/4 an inch wide and 6 mm deep. I use the word vintage because I cannot be sure of the age of the jade beads, but I do know they have age. And at the end, there are 4 jade celadon beads at 10 mm.
I have used two types of gold plated beads. There are six vintage traditional Afghan beads. At 12 mm and 8 mm, these are handmade, using 18 ct gold on brass on hardened resin, and then etched and shaped. The Afghani have been crafting gold for centuries. When Alexander the Great came to Afghanistan, his people brought many skills, one of which was working in gold. Like the Romans, centuries later, a yellow, 18 ct gold was used. But one of the techniques was to take sheet gold and work it onto hardened resin and then decorate it accordingly. And that is how these vintage Afghan gold beads have been made.
The other gold beads are a vermeil, a gold on silver disc made in India, at 10.5 mm, or the 3mm vermeil beads attached to the jade pendant.
The toggle clasp is 14 ct gold. I use a toggle clasp because it is not only easy to use but it is quite secure.
The necklace is 18 1/2 inches long, with a 2 inch pendant drop.
The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with it's own silk brocaded pouch bag, made by the Shanghai tailor.
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