MOP Antique Chinese Game Counter London Blue Topaz Nuggets Pearls Necklace - La Finesse “L” Monogram Necklace
This beautiful and delicately carved Chinese gaming counter (circa 1780) has found a new life as the centerpiece of a stunning and elegant necklace of London blue topaz nuggets and freshwater baroque pearls. The gorgeous step faceted topaz nuggets alternate with creamy freshwater baroque pearls featuring hand-coiled loops. Safely suspended in a twist wire frame of 14k gold, this unique hand-engraved Mother-of-Pearl pendant is just as beautiful on the opposing side, featuring a cross hatch motif (known as a diaper pattern), as well as the stunning and delicate script monogrammed “L” side. During the early 1700’s, wealthy European families commissioned Chinese artisans to make finely engraved sets of mother-of-pearl gaming counters for use in parlor games such as Ombre, Quadrille, Loo and Whist. Starting with simple Chinese designs of flowers and birds, the engravings became more complex with time, often using family crests, monograms, or even coats-of-arms of royal European families. Even the wife of George III, Queen Charlotte, had her own set of counters and it is rumored that King George had to confiscate them as she habitually lost so much money! This commerce continued until 1840, when the games fell from fashion. The shells were ground flat, shaped, polished and engraved - all nearly 300 years ago, and all by hand! The particular large mollusk that provided these large flat shells was hunted to extinction to supply this trade. Other monograms and/or shapes are available - please send a message to inquire.
Size: 18.75 inches long / 1.84 X 1.28 inches pendant.