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GRANDFATHERS' HANDS
eBay: Chinese Ding & Mexican Silver Necklace
Fine Silver Antique Mexican Cutwork Necklace & Matching Earrings (ca. 1940s)

My father bought this necklace for my mother on their honeymoon in Mexico in 1942.  After raising their wine glasses,
he asked my mother to close her eyes, then he went around and put it on her.  My father, Pierre Bourdelle -- the
muralist/sculptor son of the world-renowned monumental sculptor Emile-Antoine Bourdelle -- bought this to impress his
Social Register - Vogue model wife.  As a young girl I looked forward to when my mom would hand this priceless set
over to me.  My father chose this set for my mother because the craftsmanship was superb, the jewelry and my mother
were both beautiful ,and he was a man of poetic gestures.  

To create cutwork silver requires a silver sheet be cut out for each section with a scroll saw.  First, the small inner
openings are drilled and then the scroll saw blade is worked through until the small section can be sawn.  Each
opening has to be sanded/rounded, and finally the lines pounded in to create the Celtic Knots effect.  Because it's
labor intensive, this type of jewelry work is rarely done today..  

The silver weighs easily on the neck -- it is balanced and smooth.  The earrings swing freely.  

Necklace:        17 1/8" L x 1 7/8" W
Earrings:        1 1/8" L  x 1 5/16" W
                 Special Holiday Price $395.00
                                                           + Insurance + S&H
Original Chinese Bronze Ding (ca. 400 B.C.)

The Ding ("cooking vessel") was a tripod vessel used for cooking as well as offerings (food
items, and to honor a family's specific ancestors), with a pair of knobs protruding to facilitate
handling.  The three legs held the vessel at a proper distance from the fire for cooking meat.

On the top of the ding's cover are three tao-ties (see detail photos).  The tao-tie monsters
were reputed to be very voracious -- the Chinese characters for "tao-tie" contain the
character for "eat" -- hence, "beast of gluttony".  It was used on Chinese sacrificial bronze
items 3,000 years ago, combining all sorts of animal characteristics found in the natural world
into one ferocious creature. The tao-tie is one of the most fantastic and imaginative designs
found among Chinese bronze designs.  It uniquely communicates the religious and ritual spirit
of ancient Chinese bronze vessels. On Erlitou period objects decorated with animals, it has
fierce teeth and claws, sharp horns, tails, wings and legs.  During the Zhou period, the
fierce-looking animals became dragons with button-like staring eyes.  In the Han dynasty, the
compact monsters transformed into slim and friendly dragons.  Sometimes the intertwined
bodies of the tao-tie resemble the lion patterns of Nordic art.

This Ding has been definitely identified as being 2400 years old and original.  It has been in
my family for well over 100 years, passed from my French grandfather (Emile-Antoine
Bourdelle [1861-1929]), to my father (his son, Pierre); then to me.
DETAIL OF BACK
Chinese Bronze Ding (original) ca. 400 B.C.  

Vessel:  11" H at handles x 12 3/16" W at handles
Lid:  10 3/8" W x 2 1/2" H.       Weight:  approx. 13.5 lbs

Special ONE-DAY Price:  $3,400
___________________________________________________________
Mexican
Silver
Necklace is
below
SOLD