THE ENDLESS KNOT PENDANT
This pendant has as its central motif the Endless knot, the Buddhist symbol of eternity. One of the eight buddist precious objects, it represents the immutable nature of Buddha's law, with no beginning and no end. The motif was imported into China along with Buddhism around the 3rd century, and by the mid-Ming dynasty (16th century), its strongly graphic image, with the eye bemused by the unending curving line, had made it an extremely popular motif. In the Qing dynasty, they were often seen at court as spacers in small hand rosaries, several of which are preserved in the National Palace Museums of Taibei and Beijing. Widely believed to be able to repel evil spirits, the endless knot is one of the few motifs that has managed to preserve its significance through the ages and continues to be popular in modern jewellery.
This particular jadeite Endless knot is exceptional in its size, colour, thickness and glassy translucency; the flawless stone particularly well carved. The mounting recalls the "oriental" movement of the 1920's when all things Eastern were in vogue in the West. The form is mogul in inspiration as is the concept of an elaborate decoration on the reverse of the piece allowing it to be worn on both sides. Continuing the Indian theme, high domed rose-cut diamonds, beloved for their subtle glitter and transparency, are used.
However, the combination of pearls and jadeite is typically Chinese, often seen in the extravagant jewellery of the Empress Dowager Cixi. She is known to have owned a cape, strung with cherry-size natural pearls set with a fringe of jadeite drops. The pearl drop in itself is a rare gem, more than 22.50 mm. long and 16.50 mm. wide with very fine lustre and orient, its wonderfully symmetrical drop shape in perfect balance with the width of the jadeite plaque.
The perfection of the proportions of each item in the combination, and their high quality, speak of a time when aristocratic families had plentiful supplies of gems which they matched as they pleased.
The quality of the finish on the mount points to an age where jewellers could create a piece as perfect as possible regardless of time and expense.
A MAGNIFICENT JADEITE, DIAMOND AND PEARL PENDANT
The thick, exceptionally translucent, vivid emerald green endless knot (lian jie), within a diamond-set frame, suspending a large pearl drop with a single diamond bead spacer, the reverse with a gallery encrusted with six oval rose-cut diamonds, centering on a lozenge-shaped diamond weighing approximately 2.50 carats, another rose-cut diamond inlaid into the pearl, together with a pearl and jadeite bead chain
With certificate dated 24/7/96 from the Gübelin Gemmological Laboratory stating that the pearl drop is a natural pearl
Overall pendant length 9.13 cm.
Natural pearl drop 24.5 x 16.6 mm.
Necklace length 66.0 cm..