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Chinese Silver Jade Cicada Necklace

This necklace is solid silver vermeil with crude hallmarks. The five early hand-carved cicadas are surrounded by repoussé floral frames… hanging from the first Chinese marked ‘book chain’ I have ever seen.

[ click on images to enlarge …. photos by: RP (Bob) Birt ]

The ‘book chain” was a popular necklace in England and North America during the Victorian era – used to hold a locket… which adds to my feeling this necklace is also 19th century.

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The cicada is one of the oldest symbols in Chinese art… they sometimes appear on Neolithic pieces… "the cicada symbolized immortality…a cicada made of jade was laid in the mouth of the deceased" Eberhard, Dictionary of Chinese Symbols.


Rare, beautiful… but also powerful …according to Eberhard the number five is one of the most important numbers in Chinese mysticism …I still have a lot to learn!

Happy Lunar New Year!!! Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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