Vintage ( estimated 1930's) Chinese cinnabar and silver plated dress clip mounted as a pendant on an intricate sterling silver chain. The cinnabar is hand-carved with delicate flowers and centered in an ornate silver motif. Clip size: 1"3/4 by 1" 1/2 Necklace length: 20"
Modern cinnabar today should really be termed "faux" cinnabar. You would not want to wear real cinnabar! Genuine cinnabar is the mineral mercuric sulfide, and was used in the Antiquity and Medieval Ages. It was often powdered and added to lacquer to give it a rich red color. In the modern jewelry industry, the toxic cinnabar is replaced by a resin-based polymer lacquer that approximates the appearance of old, carved cinnabar work. The cinnabar beads are produced in a process combining layers and layers of colored polymer lacquer, which are then hand-carved (or in some cases, machine carved) into intricate patterns.