I found this wonderful serpentine archers ring in China years ago. I have added a box wood netsuke on top of it - carved with four turtles on top of each other. The carving is in great detail in is carved all around a piece. This one of a kind pendant is a conversation starter.
The entire pendant drops 3” from a black natural leather cord that is adjustable from 18” to 36” using slipknots which means I can be worn a variety of lengths.
The turtle or tortoise is sacred to China. It is symbolic of longevity, strength, endurance and steadfastness. It is believed to keep hidden from view the secrets of heaven. It is also a sign of immortality.
The Chinese have been carving boxwood figures for about 900 years. Boxwood is from the Chinese boxwood evergreen shrub which is native to Southeast Asia. Because it is fine grained and high density it can be carved in great detail yet it is light weight. The Chinese have been carving boxwood figures for about 900 years. It is also used to carve musical instruments. Romans used to place a twig of boxwood in their tombs.
An archer’s ring was worn on the thumb of the archer to protect the thumb of the archer from the bowstring. Thumb rings have been in use in Asia since the Neolithic period and were first made of leather.
The netsuke is a miniature carving, usually less than two inches high, created by Japanese and Chinese artists for over three hundred years. They portray every aspect of their life and culture, as well as characters from Japanese folk stories. These carvings were traditionally used to prevent the cord attached to a gentleman's medicine box or tobacco pouch from slipping through the belt of his kimono. Today, they are highly collectible works of art. Traditionally, netsukes have been carved from mammoth and elephant ivory, ebony, fossil walrus tusk, mahogany, rosewood and hippopotamus tooth. The netsukes, often signed by the artist, are getting harder to find as the detail in each piece takes patience and time and the younger Chinese are not so interested in pursuing this art form. . Many of these pieces are displayed in museums and demand high prices at art auctions - from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on the quality of the carving and the artist.
Serpentine is often called new jade. It can occur in a variety of colors including red, green, brown-red, brown-yellow and white. It was often carried as an amulet for protection against witchcraft and evil spirits in ancient times.
Vintage Serpentine Archer's Ring, Boxwood Turtle Netsuke Pendant Necklace