DescriptionOur chic Phoenix Pearl Necklace is based on a splendid Qing dynasty (1644–1911) gold-and-pearl ornament in the Museum’s collection. Shaped like a phoenix, the mythical bird associated in China with prosperity and high achievement, the ornament was most likely part of an elaborate set used to decorate a headdress. This necklace is based on the decorative feather terminals of the bird’s tail.
24K gold overlay, with gray cultured freshwater pearls. 17''L. Hook and eye closure.
- 24K gold overlay
- Gray cultured freshwater pearls
- Hook and eye closure
Art HistoryIn the first half of the seventeeth century, the Manchus, a semi-nomadic people from the northeast, took over China, establishing the Qing (“pure”) dynasty (1644– 1911). Under the Manchus the arts flourished, especially during the reigns of the emperors Kangxi (r. 1662–1722), Yongzheng (r. 1723–35), and Qianlong (r. 1736–95). These rulers embraced Chinese artistic traditions and supported the production of elegant paintings on silk and paper, as well as exquisite wares, for the elite.