Enquiry about object: 4559

    Your First Name (required)

    Your Last Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Country (required)

    Your Message

    Pair of Miao Silver Earrings

    Miao People, Guizhou, China
    19th-early 20th century

    length: 12.8cm, width: 7.9cm, combined weight: 173g

    Available Enquire


    private collection, London

    This very fine pair of silver ear ornaments is from the Miao people. Each comprises a large, thick silver hoop for the ear, both ends of which terminate in tight spirals, and with a cage-like structure with applied silver spheres being suspended from one of the finials.

    See Beringen (2006, p. 80) and Hoek (2004, p. 204) for related pairs.

    The Miao people live in southern China most notably in Guizhou province. But Miao sub-groups such as the Hmong live in northern Thailand and eastern Burma as well. The wearing of silver jewellery among Miao women was very important. It was a sign of femininity and wealth. Families would begin saving to buy silver jewellery from the time a daughter was born, so that she would enter a marriage with a significant collection of silver jewellery which would be her own source of wealth. Thereafter, copious amounts of silver jewellery would be worn at weddings, funerals and springtime celebrations.

    The earrings here are in excellent condition. They are sculptural and have good signs of age. They are among the best of their type that we have seen.


    Beringen, J., et al, The Art of Silver Jewellery: From the Minorities of China, the Golden Triangle, Mongolia and Tibet – The Rene van der Star Collection, Skira, 2006.
    Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.

    Dozens of items are added to our website every second month. Be among the first to know about them.
    Receive our Regular Catalogues