Antique Chinese Silver Filigree Vinaigrette
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An antique, Chinese vinaigrette pendant, in the form of a lacy, domed cage. The two halves of the filigree cage are made of fine, twisted sterling silver wire. The pendant hangs from a length of chain that attaches to a large s-shaped— this was meant to hang from a button or chatelaine. This vinaigrette is decorated with a stack of carnelian beads and a silver finial charm— the center bead is a flat, carved flower; the beads that flank the flower are round. An unusual, eye-catching ornament, this is also quite dramatic because of its larger size. It wears beautifully on a long chain. This was not made for export; it is hallmarked, on the hook, but I cannot make out the Chinese stamps.
Vinaigrette measures approx 1 3/4"diameter; depth is 1 1/4". Outfit measures approx 7", including the short chain. The large s-hook is just over 1". Weight is 39.4 grams.
This would have originally held a perfume-soaked piece of cloth, but you could use it to hold any special thing— a handful of small bones or gemstones. It opens and closes semi-permanently, by bending the smaller s-hook with a pair of jeweler's pliers.