Antique Shakudo & Ivory Pendant
An unusual and serene natural ivory pendant is embellished with a center plaque of Shakudo (Skokudo) and Shibuichi. These two words are Japanese for the metal alloys (one of silver, the other gold) used to create these poetic images. A brace of birds, possibly partridge or quail are set against a nature backdrop of cherry blossom sprays, leaves and flowers. One lone silver flower rests at the lower left among the aggregate of gold. A polished and rounded ivory platform serves as the base.
Circa 1880 - 1890. Excellent condition with light natural aging of the ivory. Measures 1-1/2 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter and is ½ of an inch (1.3 cm) in height. Plaque measures 15/16 of an inch (2.4 cm) in diameter.
Historical note: Shakudo and Shibuichi originated for use in Japanese armor and swords. Banned in 1876 by their government, artisans turned to jewelry and to other objects to continue this honorable and idyllic craft. For further reading see "Warman's Jewelry" by Christie Romero.