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Sunday, April 10, 2011

I love this - Cloisonné bracelet

My Aunt, who is an all-things-Asian buff (she worked in China, Japan, and Indonesia and has followed the Silk Road) found this unmarked cloisonné bracelet in a bulk jewelry lot. It is old, and probably not meant for export.
I am basing this assumption on the limited range of colors; plus this bracelet is not stamped with country of origin, which was required in 1890 but was not enforced until recently. Bangles produced in China in the 1950's were rarely stamped, and that date range fits the bill for this item (my aunt thinks it is early 1900's based on the color palette, color mixing, and pitting, but bangles were much more common in the '50's!). The small size of the bangle opening yet fairly wide width indicates that the bracelet was meant for an adult, but a small adult - hence probably not intended for export. Most Chinese
cloisonné was gilded to cover copper wires used in the process, but all the gild except small bits on leaf details has rubbed off. This is typical, and other than that the bangle is in good condition; pitting is present in the enamel and it has lost its luster but it has worn well. 
Why do I love this bracelet so much? I love the look of bangles but I have pathetically skinny wrists. I rarely find a bracelet that doesn't look like a necklace draped over my small wrists, but this one fits perfectly without looking childish. As a bonus, the black enamel goes well with most outfits!
Do you have a favorite accessory or piece of jewelry that you wear over and over?


  1. i have baby wrists too. wrists and ankles. everything else has fat, haha. that's a pretty bracelet - and it's cool that you're like a bracelet connoisseur. i don't wear much jewelry... i like necklaces but rarely actually put any on.

    since you're the dye expert, any knowledge on dying chiffon?

  2. I have an opposite problem--small wrists but HUGE hands for some reason. So bracelets need to be far too big before they can fit on (at least for bangles). This bracelet is beautiful. I've just moved from Hong Kong and one of the things I had to bring with me was my collection of Asian jewelry.
    Really enjoy reading your blog

  3. I love the design on the bracelet. I only wear my wedding ring and watch on a daily basis.

  4. I have the same problem, my wrists are tiny! I think that is one beautiful bracelet, thanks for sharing. :)

  5. That's so pretty!

    I have tiny wrists and tiny hands.. tiny fingers too.

  6. Very pretty! I also have small wrists, so I have a similar problem. I rarely wear bracelets, but mostly because I type all day & hate the feeling of a bracelet clanging on the keyboard.
    My favorite accessory is the first necklace my husband ever bought me - when we were dating.

  7. My mom was in China for work a couple of years ago and brought me back a cloisonne bracelet - I love it!

  8. I have a similar bracelet that has dragons, the sun, and the famous cloud designs on it. What is the appraisal value of these bracelets if they are indeed vintage. It also has no origin markings on it.