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Vintage Chinese Carved Mother of Pearl Dragon

This Chinese hand carved dragon buckle is the most unusual example of carved Mother of Pearl that I have ever been able to find.

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13-01-20 -Vintage Chinese Mother of Pearl Dragon Buckle

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Mother of Pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent. (Wikipedia)

The Chinese have been using Mother of Pearl for ornamentation for over 1500 years. Usually, it is associated with; game markers and buttons or the beautiful inlays the Chinese use in conjunction with lacquer ...but very seldom with jewelry.

An image search on Goggle seems to bare this out. After 15 pages or so, while I saw a number of beautiful Mother of Pearl ornaments, none were really comparable to this carving.

What I love the most is the skill the carver ...creating a character that seems to come to life.

Singapore RE 2.5.2