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Chinese Vintage Vermeil Eggplant Necklace

This is a very unique and beautiful Chinese Wedding Necklace. It took me a while to figure out what the 30 symbols hanging on this beautiful silver vermeil wedding necklace were …


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

The shape seemed so familiar…I checked with Patricia Welch’s book Chinese Art … "An eggplant is a fertility symbolegg plant as it is both fast growing and has numerous seeds … because cucumbers, gourds, melons and pumpkins grow on vines and have large numbers of seeds, they are all associated with fertility… the Chinese artist could utilize pictures of seeds and nuts to convey the wish for many children"

Bob showed me a photo his friend Tracy Lamb had just shot for one of her client’s brochures … Eggplant …it had to be! Perhaps the artist took a bit of liberty as to which end of the fruit the stem was on?






The style of the workmanship was also familiar. The necklace is marked: MADE IN CHINA SILVER but it also has a mark that has appeared on a number of pieces in the collection… NO. 23. There has been some discussion that the mark is for an Assay Office (which existed from approximately 1890-1937 in China) but we have also seen the mark used for pieces that do not test silver like the bracelet used in these black and white photos that Bob did for his portfolio.

NO. 23 seems to have a style and quality associated with it that is not dependant on materials…


Never the less, this is a wonderful Chinese Wedding Necklace made even more charming by its artistic quirks and beautiful symbolism… there was a very lucky bride!

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