Enquiry about object: 6794

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    Pair of Chinese Pendant Cabochon Turquoise & Gilt Earrings

    early 20th century

    height: 3.6cm, combined weight: 10g



    UK art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This splendid pair of earrings with post backs comprises pendant natural polished turquoise cabochon beads suspended from a turquoise upper with gilt silver spangled settings.

    The base of each turquoise bead is finished with a gilded silver filigree plum blossom.

    Jewellery such as this example seem to have been produced in China in the early 20th century perhaps in the aftermath of the fall of the Qing Dynasty. At that time, court jewellers no longer were required, and thousands of officials attached to the Court seemed to have sold off their jewellery, much of which was used as part of Court dress. This created a large, secondary market in repurposed gems and jewellery, as well as items that could be broken down and reassembled into jewellery more suitable for Western tastes. This accorded with the modernisation of China but also with newly-found export markets for such jewellery.

    The earrings are in an excellent, wearable condition, and are at the higher end in terms of quality when it comes to this type of Chinese jewellery.


    Duda, M., Four Centuries of Silver: Personal Adornment in the Qing Dynasty and After, Times Editions, 2002.

    Herridge, E., Bringing Heaven to Earth: Chinese Silver Jewellery and Ornament in the Late Qing Dynasty, Ianthe Press/Paul Holberton Publishing, 2016.

    National Palace Museum, Royal Style: Qing Dynasty and Western Court Jewellery, 2012.

    Nikles van Osselt, E., Five Blessings: Coded Messages in Chinese Art, Foundation Baur/5 Continents, 2011.

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