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Vintage Chinese Silver Fish Necklace - Turquoise Eyes

East Asia, China, ca. 1940s CE. A lovely silver filigree fish necklace with a carp fish pendant that is skillfully articulated so as to wiggle wonderfully and separately cast fins that dangle below. Note that the mouth actually opens and is marked "Silver" inside. In addition, the fish is set with turquoise cabochons for eyes on either side and suspended from a silver chain. Although some have described these as snuff boxes, the multitude of tiny holes throughout the surface would not be ideal for holding such a substance. The fish pendant and chain are both of a very high grade silver - fish is 96% silver; chain is 97% silver - both of a higher grade than sterling silver! Size: fish measures 3.25" L (8.3 cm); chain measures 22" L (55.9 cm); weight: 22.6 grams

A beautiful necklace featuring a fish which has figured prominently in Chinese culture and literature. During the Han dynasty about 2000 years ago, for example, there was a legend that told of a man who was far from home and sent his wife two carp fishes. When the wife was about to cook the fish, she discovered a silk strip with a love note that read, "Eat well to keep fit" followed by, "Missing you and forget me not."

Condition: Expected tarnish commensurate with age. Otherwise, overall excellent.

Provenance: private Los Angeles County, California, USA collection

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