DescriptionRare Chinese Gold Imperial Necklace
Work of the Symbol of the Empress of China, most likely the Empress Dowager Cixi, circa 1870
Designed as a row of 22 karat gold oval and shaped rectangular plaques, each applied with filigreed three-dimensional phoenixes, attached by a double-link chains, central plaque-1 1/2 in wide; approx length 17 in., in fitted case
A low-ranking concubine to China's Xianfeng Emperor, Cixi (or Tz'u-hsi) bore his only son, who would reign as Tongzhi. From the beginning of Tongzhi's rule as a young boy in 1861, through her own death 47 years later, the Empress Dowager maintained an iron grip on the Qing (Manchu) dynasty. A figure of considerable notoriety, Cixi was one of the most powerful women in Chinese history.
The phoenix (feng-huang) is the second of the four miraculous creatures of Chinese tradition and symbolized the Empress.
Purchased from Sheldon Shapiro, London
Condition report available upon request.
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