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  • Catalogue Essay

    Bangle or armband existed as a sort of ornament as early as in the Neolithic Age, with materials ranging from rocks, ceramics, gold, silver to jade. During Ming dynasty (1368-1644), China was able to import jadeite directly from Myamar (modern-day Burma) through Yunnan, and since then, jadeites became a popular material from which bangles are carved. Such bangles were indispensable in a dowry of that time, and very often, women of significant pedigree included their jadeite bangles as funerary objects. With Empress Cixi as a leading patron for jadeites, jadeite bangle was at the pinnacle of its popularity during the Qing dynasty.

    Unlike many other jewels, jadeite bangles are worn by women and girls of all ages. One of the reasons for this is that Chinese believe that it possesses a special healing power, and can transform anxiety to peace. Bangles are gifted to infants for sounder sleep and to newly-wed women with blessings from the family. That is also why elderlies very rarely take off bangles they are wearing, because jadeite bangles can ward off evil spirits and would only come off when they break, while in the process keeping the wearer away from harm.

    Traditionally bangles are fashioned from a single piece of rough, and the wastage is the highest among jadeite jewelries. Very often, the value of a rough depends on the number of bangles that can potentially be carved from the stone. The form and lines of a bangle may appear to be uncomplicated; however, it requires a jadeite boulder of the best quality. To obtain a bangle of good size, thickness and proportions, as well as a decent amount of attractive green colour, the boulder itself must not contain major cracks and fissures, and should be of considerable size. Moreover, rounded bangles are usually more valuable than the ovals because they call for more material. In Chinese tradition, the complete circle represents fullness and perfection, many motifs are indeed in circular forms.

    Since the supply of high-quality jadeite boulders from Burma are increasingly scarce, natural jadeite jewelry, particularly those that are of traditional forms, such as jadeite cabochons, bangles and bead necklaces, are still actively sought-after by the most seasoned collectors. This bangle offered here is finely proportioned, and most importantly, it glows with an attractive emerald green colour throughout, which makes it highly collectible.

587

A Very Fine Jadeite Bangle

Estimate
HK$13,500,000 - 17,000,000 
$1,700,000-2,200,000

Contact Specialist
Terry Chu
Head of Jewellery, Asia, Senior Director
+852 2318 2038

Jewels & Jadeite

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2017