This 19th century bracelet is an interesting example of Chinese repoussé and chasing techniques with great attention to detail and quality of construction.
It is also an intriguing collage of Chinese culture.. a story told with architecture instead of traditional symbols… through distinct elements on the bracelet… walls, towers and dwellings on stilts.
My first impression was…this was a depiction of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City… major symbols of Chinese culture and history… but how did they relate to what appears to be a fishing village?
After looking through all of my library and surfing the web, a reference to Chinese City Walls in Wikipedia took me to another reference to ‘Fishing Town’… one of the three ancient battlefields in China… Could it be that the artist who created this piece was drawing together the symbols of the ancient walled cites and paying tribute to a city that withstood over 200 attacks during a 36 year period?
Maybe…or maybe not. I am sure someone will write me with more ideas.
But once again, I have confirmed why I love collecting Chinese ornaments. The more I researched these images and spent time on this ‘journey’… The more I began to feel that I had been on a trip to China hundreds of years ago… The more I began to think of this bracelet as a souvenir of that journey…