Exquisite vintage Siam Niello work bracelet and earrings set
This beautiful bracelet is a fine example of Siam's (present day Thailand) Niello work (see 'Trivia' below). There are 12 slightly curved rectangular units each engraved with one of these three mythological figures: Mekhala (the Goddess of Lightning in Thai version of Ramayan), Thepanom (a Thailand Guardian Angel deity) and Erawan (aka Airavata- Three Headed Elephant).
There is nice attention to detail- the engravings are intricate and precise and the niello is perfectly applied. The units are linked by hinge mechanism which gives this bracelet great fluidity and it snaps shut with a nicely made hidden box clasp. Comes with matching earrings that have a clip on mechanism at back.
Since most women have pierced ears, it may feel odd initially to wear clip on earrings. But I can personally vouch that it takes only a bit to shake off that feeling and these are extremely comfortable to wear. This set will, undoubtedly, be a great addition to any history loving, culture buff's jewellery wardrobe- artsy with a mythological twist!
Composition: Sterling silver with Niello work.
Stamped: The bracelet is stamped 'Siam Sterling'. The earrings are individually stamped 'Sterling. Made in Siam'.
Measurements: Open bracelet is 16.1 cms long (including the tongue of the clasp) and 1.5 cms wide. Earrings are 2 cms long and 1.5 cms wide.
Weight: Bracelet is 20.94 gms and the earrings are 5.70 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 Vietnam 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.