I have loved the artistry of Shakudo for its value is in the rarity and details. It is not valued by the amount of gold, silver or gemstones. It is a very labor intensive process of mixing metal inlays and creating images. When treated with a suitable solution the metal turns a purplish, black color that is a dramatic backdrop for the the contrasting applied metals.
The samurai warriors had swords intricately decorated by artisans of the highest regard. When the Haitorei edict was issued by the Meiji government in 1876 it prohibited former samurai from carrying swords. These highly skilled artisans that created the decorations found themselves out of work. The dismantling of the swords gave them the hope of creating pieces of jewelry, wearable art, that could appeal to the Western market. Sadly, the industry could not sustain itself.
This particular pendant of a helmet is called a Kabuto. It is a type of helmet used by ancient Japanese warriors. In later periods, it became an important part of the traditional Japanese armour worn by the samurai. It is mixed metal, utilizing copper ground and gold wash. The reverse is silver back. The gold wash accents the details which are exceptionally fine. The metal work is quite intricate, all hand rendered. It most likely would have been taken from a sword and fashioned into a pendant. A 14 karat gold twisted bail has been added to complement the design and create the pendant.
The chain is available separately.
It measures 1 inch long without the bail and 1 1/8th with the bail X 7/8ths across
This is a work of art. Suitable for any "warrior" male or female.
Japan, 19th century