Unique Agate, Jade & Gold Necklace with Bone Dog On Chinese Jade Slide
- All dog lovers look away if you want to resist this necklace. Sitting on top of a vintage, carved brown nephrite jade sword slide, is an enchanting dog, inlaid with horn eyes. He is carved out of mammoth ivory, with great detail. His flappy ears frame his dear face, while his tail whips around at the back of him. At 21 mm wide, 13.5 mm high, and 12.5 mm deep, he is a delight. He is also a signed piece.
- The dog is the eleventh animal in the Chinese Zodiac. For the Chinese, the dog is an emblem of loyalty, honesty and love. They also symbolize luck because they protect humans from danger, which is why they bark. Ancient people believed that they could predict good or bad luck according to the different times of the day that they barked.
- I feel, however, that it is also imperative to explain that mammoth ivory comes from the long extinct mammoth elephant. This is not an endangered species because it has been extinct, like the dinosaurs, for a very long time, and is therefore not illegal. Huge mammoth tusks have been unearthed in Siberia. And now, the artisans who once carved elephant ivory, have turned to mammoth ivory instead.
- The dog sits on a vintage Chinese sword slide, carved with a pattern, in a brown, nephrite jade. It is 6 cm wide, 2.5 cm high and 13 mm deep. Whether this was ever used as a sword slide or not, it would have been intended for the blade of a sword to slide through and separate the blade from the handle. But often these are just collected items.
- Underneath and supporting the slide is a carved bone, basket-weave bead (10.9 mm).
- The pendant elements hang on 5mm celadon jade beads.
- The necklace itself is comprised of eight, agate cylinders in a toffee and cream colour range with wonderful striated patterns. The cylinders are 14 mm.
- Two vintage (now rare) 18K gold on hard wax beads from Afghanistan are at the centre of the necklace, on which the jade beads hang. They are 11.5 mm.
- Two hand carved bone beads in a basket-weave design (15 mm), compliment the tones of the mammoth dog.
- There are two antique, carved nephrite jade tortoise shell beads (16 mm).
- Four further vintage, handmade Afghan 18K gold on silver on hardened resin beads punctuate the design.
- The Afghani have been crafting gold for centuries. When Alexander the Great came to Afghanistan, his people brought many skills, one of which was working in gold. Like the Romans, centuries later, a yellow, 18K gold was used. But one of the techniques was to take sheet gold and work it onto hardened resin and then decorate it accordingly. For me, this handiwork and yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character and complements the gems.
- Lastly, two bone discs (14 mm), stained with a red and green design, finish the necklace.
- I have then knotted the toffee coloured silk/polyester cord with the traditional Chinese “flat knot” as well as the “button knot”. This is not only a classical Chinese technique, but it lightens the necklace and makes it quite comfortable to wear. It also sets off the design.
- A 14K gold vermeil 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.
- Length 46 cm (18")with a 6 cm pendant drop (2 1/2").