Art Nouveau North Wind Mask Bangle Bracelet
* * SOLD * *
An exceptional Art Nouveau era bangle bracelet, modeled in bloomed 14k gold, whose primary element is a beautifully sculpted mask, made to represent the North Wind. This particular characterization of the North wind is decidedly canine/lupine— he has a snout, and a dog-like nose; his eyes are deep-set and sheltered by his brow. His windswept fur and mustache, both beautifully textured, feather out toward the edges of his face, terminating in a shapely outline of soft-points and curves. Our blustery friend holds a sparkling, white, old mine cut diamond in his mouth; his eyes are also set with old mine cut diamonds. His charming, highly-dimensional face is set atop an airy, flat-wire bangle frame whose shoulders feature a pair of diamond-set question marks. One question mark faces up and the other faces down, as if to say "which way?" This bracelet closes with a hand-built, push-tab, tension clasp, and it retains its original cable-link safety chain. This rare old darling is in outstanding condition. We love him, and think he must be saying something about changeability, chance, and fortune!
Bracelet's inner circumference measures approx 7 1/4"; dog mask measures approx 27 mm (just over 1") x 23.5 mm; bracelet measures approx 8.5 mm at the shoulder and tapers to approx 5.3 mm at the base; diamonds measure approx 3.5 mm (1), 2.5 mm (2), 3 mm (2), 2.7 mm (2); largest diamond is approx .18 carats; diamond CTW is approx .65 carats.
Most of our visitors immediately see a lion, in this bangle, when they visit the shop. We see a dog (a Shih Tzu, to be precise). After fielding an impassioned (!!!) critique, via email, that this bracelet depicts "North Wind Man," we looked into various resources and decided that representing the North Wind may have been the artist's intention, though this rendering is not one that fits perfectly into any jewelry reference or mythology that we could find. It's true that Art Nouveau jewelry, with its stylized mythological references, gargoyles, grotesques, animals, and particular flowers, can be challenging to read, and in the end we felt the question marks fit the North Wind idea . . . "where will the wind blow us," "which way will the wind blow," and the idea of the old Norse North Wind as a bestower of fortune. Hopefully this supremely lovable little face brings its wearer good fortune! Skål!