Antique Art Nouveau Peranakan Bangle

Antique Chinese gold bangle set in 22k.

This bangle is thickset and handcrafted beautifully. There is no casting work involved, its components soldered together from part to part.

The components are a distinct Art Nouveau motif, ‘ribbons’ that have a typical Peranakan adaptation into leaf scrolls, with butterflies at intervals.

The bangle resembles filigree but it is not openwork. Instead its components come together to a more sculptural form.

The bangle has an expertly controlled concave face, its repoussé motifs repeated through solid gold work. The limited chasing against very yellow gold gives the bangle a fancy-chic modernism.

These type of bangles are part of Straits Chinese bridal gifts or to commemorate special occasions and definitely lovelier as time goes by. They do not always surface with such a Western flavour, this piece being quite so, and from hindsight looks intentionally so. We can see the cross-cultural Peranakan effort in making beauty a ‘livelier’ thing 🙂

The bangle is fully hallmarked and likely to date to the early 1900s. Its circumference is oval rather than round, spanning 2.4″ at its widest (suitable for a medium size wrist).

This is traditional craftsmanship lost to time, its simple design successful from its intuitive construction and graceful form, the hinge and long screw open-close mechanism by now a trademark of old Chinese jewellery tradition.

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