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Glorious Antique Georgian Hand Carved Imperial Chinese Hediao Necklace


An incredibly beautiful survivor circa 1820, in the style so desired at the time, nine gentle oval panels delicately hand carved with Chinese scenes lay around the base of the neck joined by swags of the finest hand made belcher chain to a 15 inch finished length. Known as 'Hediao', the art of carving pits or nuts has very ancient roots in China and is highly regarded as an art form. This extraordinarily charming example would most likely have been bought by a wealthy European as a souvenir whilst travelling on the 'Grand Tour' and set as a necklace once home. At the time country house living was de rigour and fashionable gatherings gave these lucky ladies the chance to wear their latest treasures.  

A rare example of Georgian period Chinoiserie depicting four Sages in quiet contemplation and scholarly pursuits, they are shown in differing traditional Chinese settings on each panel. The intricacy of design is astounding, the level of workmanship is quite astonishingly fine and the time and care which has been lavished on it's creation is something which it is hard to imagine undertaking nowadays. The metal is rich golden 15ct gold, skilfully spun into floral frames of cannetille which match the lightness of the carved ovals so exquisitely, and in addition there is a separate matching pendant which can be worn on a chain or ribbon for a less formal daytime look, and all is boxed its original midnight purple velvet lined case. 

We don't know of another such piece surviving today and so regard her worthy as a museum piece. 

For scale, the panel sections measure 3cm by 2cm. A couple of the panels have small damage in the form of the loss of a head to two of the figures but this is very hard to spot and in no way depreciates the beauty or wearability of this wonderful specimen. 

Read our blog post about this awesome piece of history.