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Asian Ivory and Silver Brooch

In Fine Jewelry > Brooches > Show & Tell and Asian > Chinese Jewelry > Show & Tell.
Brooches596 of 882Victorian antique broochLarge Silver and Gold Dragonfly Brooch /Marked .925 with Hallmarks Illegible/ Circa 20th Century
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (615 items)

    This brooch was brought to Australia by John Sutcliffe, a relative, who worked in the Shanghai Military Police around 1910.

    I only recently went through some family pieces and found this. It was fairly dirty but I have been very circumspect cleaning it - really just lightly dusted the ivory with a paintbrush and wiped the silver with a silver cloth.

    I am assuming the engraved portion is ivory. It has incredible detail and depth with the crab, squid and fish surrounded by flowers and foliage. The engraved section is quite domed, and the fish and crab eyes appear to have been coloured somehow.
    There are no marks that I can find on the metalwork but it cleans and looks like silver. The pin is a bit bent and the safety pin has disappeared from the safety chain. It measures about 5 cm x 4 cm ( 2 in x 1.5 in)

    I know very little about jewelry in general and Asian jewelry in particular so would be very happy to have any comments or information!

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    1. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      It's really beautiful Karen :) I'd say Victorian era (1860) either ivory or horn bill. There are a lot of examples online. No makers marks on those either,but the fish and crab motif make me think Japan more than China. Just a thought.
    2. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks Cindy. I think it's kinda amazing too!
    3. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks for the info Mike. Now you have identified the possibility of horn and Japanese I can keep searching. Glad you like it!

    4. jscott0363 jscott0363, 6 years ago
      Very beautiful racer4four!! Just look at all of that intricate detail. Very nice!
    5. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 6 years ago
      I really like the cute crab in the middle.
    6. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Agree it could be Japanese carving, ivory with antique patina.
      You did well with a gentle cleaning :-)
    7. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks Scott and Nadia for the comments.

      Thanks too Kyratango. I appreciate your comment on this being ivory and on my cleaning.
    8. ATTWOOD ATTWOOD, 6 years ago
      Nice piece there Karen.Whether horn or ivory you did well dust only.Never wet ivorn.
      I did well at uction on weekend,or hubby did,with some cassowary bone daggers.Will post when I get a chance
      cheers Rose
    9. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks Rose - I went easy as I don't know much about ivory like you guys - glad I did the right thing!

      I'm looking forward to cassowary bone daggers! How rare would they be!!!?!!!
    10. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
    11. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 6 years ago
      To echo what everyone has said this is really beautiful, stunning!!!
    12. kivatinitz kivatinitz, 6 years ago
      wonderful details
    13. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks Sean, Fran and Kivanitz. I know it's not done to skite but this brooch still amazes and bewitches much wonderful detail.....and skill!
    14. Agram.m Agram.m, 6 years ago
      very beautiful carved I like it very much!
    15. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thank you Agram. I value your expert opinion!
    16. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks FanciGirl!
    17. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      Ohhhh this very nice.
    18. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thank Jean - I admire so much of your jewellery and now it's my way lol!

      Thank you OAS. It's good to have feedback on it's origin. I don't think John Sutcliffe ever went to Japan so this was always more likely Chinese and you with your knowledge has confirmed my original feeling. The design idea of Japanese being less profuse seems to run through their art a bit doesn't it? Cloisonne, embroidery, even pottery.
    19. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks OAS. Always got the good info.
    20. truthordare truthordare, 3 years ago
      Still love this brooch. Did not notice before but it's a double ivory layer set in a silver frame, with the back solid, finely carved top. Solid silver is soft, so most likely silver.

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