This stunning bracelet of the Seven Lucky Gods of Fortune is exquisitely detailed, with hand enameled and glazed porcelain cameo insets over sterling silver, (950), panels. Pieces of this type are extremely rare and collectible, particularly when detailed as this piece is representing fine artwork and fabrication. Stamped “Made in Occupied Japan, (1945-1952), SILVER”, on the back of Benzaiten’s, cameo, with its original safety chain/clasp marked “Silver”, is in excellent physical condition and working order.
The seven Lucky Gods depicted have wonderful expressions and are: Ebisu, (God of the Sea); Daikokuten, (God of Commerce and Prosperity; Bishamonten, (God of fortune in war and battles); Benzaiten/Kichijoten, (Goddess of knowledge, art, and beauty); Fukurokuju, (God of wisdom, wealth, and happiness); Jurojin, (God of longevity); Hotei, (God of fortune, Guardian of children). Dimensions: Each cameo slightly varies in size and average approximately 3/4” in dia and approximately ¼” deep. The overall bracelet measures approximately 7-0” long in which each cameo is connected with silver chain links. The overall condition of the bracelet is in vintage condition / excellent. There is no apparent damage to the silver setting and wires or to the hand-enameled porcelain plaques, which are intact, securely set, and free of any noticeable chips or scratches.
Additional Information —
Toshikane was a Japanese company from Arita, Japan, that fabricated porcelain and silver jewelry, dating back to the early 1940’s. Each Toshikane design has a distinctly Japanese look and feel, incorporating iconic elements such as the Seven Lucky Gods, Noh masks, famous landmarks, and exotic bird and flower designs into their creations. Usually set in silver, (950), the porcelain pieces are intricately enameled in a variety of vibrant colors. Because they are no longer fabricated, Toshikane pieces are now a rare find and are highly collectible. This piece demonstrates the highest skill in ceramic art in Japan.
A similar bracelet is featured on the cover of a book entitled: Identification and Value Guide by Fred Rezazadeh, (ISBN-10: 1574321889), page 183. The author states that this outstanding type of Japanese jewelry is extremely rare as compared to the Noh Theater Mask types. Many people unknowledgeable of the subject confuse the two in identification and pricing. These pieces such as this one were made for the Western market after Japan opened its borders to the rest of the world. Japanese women were not known to ware jewelry other than hair ornaments and Obidome.
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection