- Happiness is what I feel when I see this necklace. Not only is it full of a sunlight, with its yellows and reflective silver. But at its centre, there is an antique seal in crystal. This seal (25mm), consists of a smiling, rampant lion, with its tail held high. You do have to look closely to see the lion, because it has been carved in crystal. But once spotted, it makes one smile. I believe the seal comes from Mesopotamia, but its age is difficult to assess.
- Mesopotamia literally means "between the rivers" in ancient Greek. It refers to the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, but it can include Syria, Turkey and Iraq. The region was the centre of a culture whose influence extended throughout the Middle East and as far as the Indus valley, Egypt and the Mediterranean. But I qualify this by stating that the intaglio is in the style of Mesopotamian art. It was probably created sometime in the last 100 years. But this is also debateable. The intaglio is, nonetheless, charming.
- At the back of the seal, I have placed a flat coconut disc to steady the rounded back of the seal.
- Six antique, silver, octagonal beads (23mm) are from Afghanistan, made of silver sheets rolled over hardened resin. This is an ancient, traditional and complex technique.
- Four antique, egg-yolk coloured, amber beads (26mm) bring a brilliance to this necklace, as do the 4 slivers of yellow and whisky amber.
- Two vintage crystal, octagonal discs (26mm x 15mm thick), give a frostiness to the tonality, like the frost on grass, as the early sun begins to glisten. The crystals are full of inclusions and harmonize with the antique crystal seal,
- Two, handmade, contemporary silvered porcelain beads (25mm) create a kind of shimmer.
- Two polished pebbles of citrine (26mm x 23mm) continue the golden hues.
- Lastly, two curry coloured, amber discs (24mm) from Tibet, finish the design
- A handmade sterling silver toggle clasp has been used because toggle clasps are easy to use and secure. My silver name label is attached at the clasp.
- The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with its own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor
- The necklace is 18” long (46cm).
A Lion Smiles on a Necklace of Sunshine Amber, Silver and Crystal