Silver-Gilt Filigree Dragon Bracelet
width: 7cm, weight: 25g
This hinged bracelet made up of two dragon’s heads and their bodies is of fine gold-plated silver filigree work. The bracelet opens and is kept closed by a screw mechanism between the two dragons’ heads. Both dragons have long whiskers to both sides. Their backs are decorated with overlaid filigree scrolling leaf work, providing several layers of intricate filigree.
The inside of the bracelet is stamped with two Chinese maker’s marks.
Bracelets such as these were produced in China (and possibly also in the Straits Settlements) in the nineteenth century and were exported to Chinese clients outside China. An almost identical pair from the Khoo Joo Ee collection and illustrated in Khoo (1996, p. 229) appears to have been worn by Straits Chinese in Singapore. An unmarked gold filigree bracelet of similar form is illustrated in Forbes (1975, p. 239).
Forbes, H.A.C. et al, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1885, Museum of the American China Trade, 1975.
The Straits Chinese: A Cultural History, The Pepin Press, 1996.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1381