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Antique Tian-tsui Feather Inlay Fish Earrings

$1,950.00

Antique Tian-tsui Feather Inlay Fish Earrings

$1,950.00


Description

DATE: Edwardian, c.1910

Remarkable antique earrings formed as Koi carp with striking iridescent blue kingfisher feathers. The technique, known as tian-tsui (literally "dotting with kingfishers"), has featured in Chinese art for at least 2000 years and involves painstakingly cutting out sections of feather to be glued onto gilt silver. The effect is similar to cloisonné, but the feathers produce an electrifying and intense colour that's impossible to create using enamel (the vibrant iridescence isn't produced by pigments in the feathers themselves, but rather - as with morpho butterfly wings - by the way light is bent and reflected back out).  The fish have articulated scaled bodies and dangle from the Chinese symbol for "longevity" or "long life". The art of tian-tsui died out during the Chinese Revolution in the 1940s. 

MEASUREMENTS 

Drop: 7.4cm

Width: 1.1cm

WEIGHT 

7.3g (pair)

MARKS 

No marks present, test as silver gilt

CONDITION 

Good, some minor losses of feather sections. One fish has a damaged tail. Screw backs can be replaced for gold wires if preferred

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