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.
The continuous deeply carved spiral detail of the neck piece is a bit sharp but piece can comfortably be worn over a turtleneck. The necklace is heavy but once on, it drapes comfortably down the chest almost to the waist.