Beautiful vintage Siam Niello work bracelet
This beautiful bracelet is a nice example of Siam's (present day Thailand) Niello work (see 'Trivia' below). There are 10 slightly curved rectangular units each engraved with mythological figures such as Mekhala (the Goddess of Lightning), Thepanom (a Thailand Guardian Angel deity), Ramasoon (the God of Thunder) and Erawan (aka Airavata- Three Headed Elephant). There is nice attention to detail- the engravings are intricate and precise and the niello is nicely applied though the rectangular outlines are not quite so sharp. (Please note the age related wear, visible in the pictures is highly magnified- these are not visible at all in person.)
The units are linked by hinge mechanism which gives this bracelet great fluidity and it snaps shut with a nicely made hidden box clasp. If you dig things unique, retro and with a mythological twist- this bracelet is the one for you!
Composition: Sterling silver with Niello work.
Stamped: The bracelet is stamped 'Made in Siam. Sterling'.
Measurements: Open bracelet is 17.4 cms long (including the tongue of the clasp) and 1.7 cms wide.
Weight: 27.80 gms
Country of origin: Siam/Thailand
Trivia: Niello is an alloy of silver, copper and lead- rubbed into etched patterns on silver. It is then fired and polished to a lustrous metallic sheen. Niello work form Siam/Thailand usually depict characters and scenes from Buddhist and Hindu tales and religious text especially the Thai version (The Ramakien) of the Hindu Indian legend, Ramayana, about a prince, his wife, his parents (King and Queen of Siam), and the evil king of Ceylon. This jewelry was often sent to American wives/girlfriends from their soldier-husbands/boyfriends on leave from fighting in Viet Nam, or stationed in Thailand during the Viet Nam war, making it a popular mid-century trend.
Please note: (1) All the jewellery in this collection is vintage, and thus neither new nor in mint condition. Wear, dents, scratches, oxidation etc. are in keeping with the age of the jewellery.
(2) All the jewellery has been gently cleaned to remove surface dirt and oils but not the patina- which in our view adds immensely to the appeal of vintage pieces. While in great condition (none of the jewellery is broken/chipped/in need of repair), all were previously owned by someone else, and while not perfect each is full of old history and charm. Please use accompanying photographs to make your decision and be sure to ask any questions you may have before purchase.
(3) It is also worth reminding that since the jewellery is shot in close-up mode, the pieces may look bigger than actual size. Conversely, some large pieces may look smaller in pictures. Always refer to the mentioned dimensions.