Our devotion towards dainty Peranakan jewelry is real, and we grow bolder each time, this being an original heirloom dragon phoenix bangle, with at least 80 years of history. Throughout Chinese history, the dragon and phoenix imagery is a popular yin yang symbol for weddings. Its beauty for us lies in its representation rather than ornamentation, for the dragon and phoenix are figured directly and simply. There is no filigree or further decoration, with the exception of the ‘fireball’ joining the dragon and the phoenix, one pair cavort on each side of the bangle. Interestingly, the ‘fireball’ is touched by each yin and yang figure at one point, the beak and beard respectively.
Carved in 20k gold, movement seems important in this piece since over two-thirds segment is devoted to the tail and body of the phoenix and dragon, with chasing details unique to the feathers and scales of each mythical creature. This piece gives equal emphasis to storytelling and simplicity, rendering it rather stylish to wear on a day-to-day basis. While there is so much gilt and gold in elaborate Peranakan art, we continue to adore the daintier pieces, where this dragon phoenix bangle will only fit at 5″ or so. It’s yours, or it’s not.
(Dragon Phoenix Bangle, Peranakan Antique Jewellery)