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Chinese Carved Silver Four Ling Bracelet

When I look at the bracelet I hear my art history professor in my head… "classic design…balance…great proportions and execution". The size and weight (54 grams) suggest to me that is was made for a man rather than a woman.

0000This is a 19th century silver bracelet…carved with rich symbolism that depicts thousands of years of Chinese cultural and spiritual traditions.

The Shou long life symbol at the center is flanked by classic Chinese images of the four miraculous ‘Ling Creatures’: the tortoise, dragon, phoenix and qilin.

The Shou symbol can be depicted in many ways; there are hundreds of ways to write longevity.

On one side of the Shou symbol are the tortoise and dragon, on the other the phoenix and qilin.1

2The tortoise is the hero of many Chinese legends; always female, represents the North, winter, longevity, endurance and death. This tortoise is shown with the Lingzhi Fungus which is a wish fulfilling plant and grows on the islands where the eight Taoist Immortals live.

Next to the tortoise is the dragon; representing the East, male, spring, power and virility.

The Chinese phoenix represents the South; summer, warmth, happiness and fertility. In combination, the dragon and the phoenix can represent the married state.

The qilin represents the West, autumn, wisdom, cosmic harmony and fulfillment.

If this bracelet seems familiar, RidgewoodEntrust has adopted it as the logo for their website and Trocadero Gallery.

Visit PrivateCollection’s PictureBook to see additional photos.

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One Comment

  1. Baris
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I love this, is there any way I could get ahold of something like this?

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