This is a wonderfully detailed silver needle case which was worn hanging from the belt. It has it's original long leather thong and silk tassel. Each side of the silver case has a central stone bead...one coral, one turquoise. The sides of the case (not pictured) have incised cloud/wave pattern. When opened, the case has copper with fabric arm to hold the needles.
For indigenous and nomadic people, needles were an essential and valuable tool for survival of daily life...
This antique Mongolian belt evokes the image of Mongolian horseman galloping across the plains...
The chain is heavily patinated from age and use. The deeply doomed central medallion retains the original stained dark finish and highlighted gold (unknown source) on the border and central decoration.
This piece is heavy...
the central medallion is 6+ inches across,3.5 inches wide, and 3+ inches deep.
This pair of traditional silver ear plugs were worn in the enlarge holes of the Yao woman of China and Thailand. The same filgree pattern is on both sides of the earplugs. The plugs are 1+ inches in diameter and 1/2 inches thick.
Women of the Miao Chinese minority did not cut their hat...when the hair was worn "bun Style" on the top of the head, the comb would be positioned
horizontally, with the tynes pushed under the "bun"...and the silver dangles would hang down...the actual "comb" is hand carved and covered with silver for decoration...
Used by the bride for wedding this elaborate kingfisher feather crown is a very old and rare piece. The oldest kingfisher ornaments were made by glueing the feathers onto heavy paper. Metal wire was only used to attach pieces together. Both paper and the feathers are fragile, so not many of these old pieces have survived. This one is in average to good condition, some paper loss and some feather loss...
the woman of many Chinese Ethnic Minority groups did not cut their hair. It was often worn on the top of the head in a bun,and sometimes intertwined with lengths of an ancestors hair for added protection from evil spirits.
The hair was often (especially for festivals)
decorated with added silver ornaments and/or hairpins.
This rare ceremonial Chinese "lock" necklace is Hmong ethnic minority. Made from pure bouillon silver, it over weighs 4.5 lbs. The Hmong Ethnic Minority group range from southern China into Northern Thailand. This piece was sourced out of China to a dealer sometime between 1920-1930. In both Chinese and ethnic minority cultures, the lock necklace acts as a talisman and symbolically "protects" the wearer from ill fortune, much as a lock on a piece of furniture will protect the contents inside...
Needles were a valued woman's sewing tool and were carefully secured in a special case hanging from the belt. This Chinese silver needle case has 6 sides, each with a delicate repousse floral design. The bottom is weighted with a small turquoise and larger amber bead.
I bought this antique Tibetan ethnic minority needle case years ago in China. Needles were an important sewing tool for women of every indigenous culture and for the Tibetans the needle case was frequently worn as a jewelry accessory for costume adornment festivals. The small jade bi functions as a weight for stability at the bottom of the needle case. It is beautiful.
this is a large antique hand-made pair of earrings of low grade silver, lots of filigree work...Though obviously not wearable for most Westerners, the make a wonderful ethnographic, tribal arts display.
This is a heavy Chines necklace which was worn by the Dong ethnic minority women. It can be worn and also makes a very impressive display artifact.
The bib front and back are domed to a thickness of about 1 inch at the center and the piece spans over 10 inches side to side. The weight of the piece (approx 2 lbs)indicates that the piece is definately not hollow
This wide cuff Chinese bracelet has deeply repousse design composed of detailed symbols related to Miao Ethic Minority myths and legends. Such bracelets would have been worn in matched pairs, one on each wrist, by the women of the "short skirt" Miao of Dan Zhai, and the bracelets would have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations.
The cuff is almost 3 inches at the widest point in the front because of its large size and rolled edge it easily slips onto most wrists.
This pair of Kingfisher hair ornaments are from my personal collection. The kingfisher bird feathers are in very good condition and the ornaments are 4 inches across at their widest point. Each piece has its original hair pin attached to the paper back with a wire.
The kingfisher bird feathers were a favorite item used to decorate ornaments for both hair and clothing, usually hats and headbands. The earliest ornaments had large feathered areas which were glued to a paper/cardboard back...
This pair of low grade silver Chinese Bracelets are Miao Ethnic Minority. Low grade silver was used extensively throughout China during the 19th and early 20th century. To a Westerner the backs look like the bracelets are adjustable, this is a decorative element only and they are not adjustable. The fronts are deeply etched with animals. At the widest point in the front the bracelets measure 1.25 inches...
This antique bracelet from Tibet is both thick and weighty, but it is very small for a Western wrist. The opening measures a scant 1 inch.
Originally, this was the largest of a set of 3 graduated matching silver necklaces. They were worn as a set for festival by the Miao Chinese Ethnic Minority women. The necklace was skillfully hand-formed from a sheet of silver into a curving tapered tube with a reposse pattern of 2 dragons chasing pearl. It spans 10.5 inches across.
this antique Tibetan pendant may have originally been used as earring or clothing ornament. I have slipped a simple black cord so it can now be used as a necklace. Coral and turquoise beads and silver decorations are all strung on a long silver post, so they can pivot around. the silver filigree disc at the bottom is missing one small filigree wire element, and possibly there was one a small stone in the middle of the disc...pendant measures 3+ inches long
This antique Chinese silver bracelet is hinged at the back and opens in the front. The silver work displays plant leaves and a bird. The bead work is both coral and turquoise. Bracelet is stamped "China" which according to trade laws makes it late Qing, about 1890. Its in very good condition