1900s filigree necklace set with hand cut diamonds in 20k.
This is a superb Straits Chinese necklace, an exemplar piece of its jewellery culture.
Straits Chinese Peranakan jewellery adopts and adapts. It is the jewellery of the Equator, not anywhere else in the world, but an ornate meeting of the East and West.
Earlier 'ethnic' pieces like this show Portuguese influence, while subsequent 'modern' pieces became increasingly Victorian. The styles in the 20th century were very different from 19th century.
A stoic gold-work (filigree-intense) piece like this is an expression with a longer history than subsequent Art Deco or bejewelled pieces. This explains why many, many pieces look similar, differing only by the level of mastery in their filigree.
This necklace is considered substantial in gold, hand carved and pierced work, then crafted thick but supple.
The magic is really in how supple the gold feels, staunchly weighted in the hands but seemingly featherweight when worn.
In four parts, the whole necklace collapses to a small gold heap. This is its sublime beauty.
Its hand cut diamonds are early versions of rose cut diamonds, all very clean with good fire. It is not the same for lesser necklaces sharing the same genre, since a great many were made across all classes of society.
The necklace is 15". Authentic period pieces were always meant to be worn short, right at the base of the neck.
Ornate by modern standards, but you can imagine it is very stylish today as a choker, when once it just was.
Authentic period pieces also had pretty, lesser seen patterns in the links part of the necklace. These sub-ornate links were devised in this way to balance up the weight of the centrepiece in a way it will not detract but remain festive!
Better worn than collected, this necklace has been kept in mint condition, for at least 80 years.
The centrepiece measures 9.5cm and 4cm at its widest.
Antique Diamond Filigree Choker Necklace Chinese 20k
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