Jade Pendant of Incomparable Quality and Unavailability For Sale
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Jade Pendant of Incomparable Quality and Unavailability


A few years ago, the top eight floors of downtown Manhattan's iconic Woolworth Building became available as a penthouse apartment for the first time in history. The price was over one-hundred-million dollars. If you have the resources, you can buy almost anything. As I said, "almost." And it is the "almosts" in life that I find the most fascinating and compelling. You can be Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates and decide you want to own the most spectacular emerald-green jade pendant. But where is it? Years can pass before jade of a certain caliber becomes available somewhere in the world. The carved jade pendant you see here has not been available for purchase for decades. This certified natural and 100% untreated jadeite jade pendant was hand-carved from the finest translucent emerald-green Burmese jadeite in the 1920s or 1930s. This date is an educated estimate based on the lines of the fluid, distinctly Art Deco lines of the carving and the high-quality of the high-gloss polish. If it were much older than the 1920s, this jade would have had a different surface that reflected the earlier polishing techniques. Depicting stylistic foliage on both sides, the carving is a work of lapidary perfection. It is an absolute joy to look at this carving beneath the dual lenses of a stereo microscope and see three-dimensionally the curves, planes and folds of this masterpiece. In the reflected light when worn against the chest, this jade carving is an evenly toned and richly saturated vivid emerald green without mottling that, in a darker room, glows as a luminous deep forest-green imperial green. But when you hold this jade up to a window, you see the fibrous structure of soul, the actual grain of the rock. One one side the lower right corner features an area of mineral concentration, probably iron. You can see a fissure in the stone itself. A fissure is not a crack but a natural feature of a stone. Take the carving away from the window, hang it around your neck and once again, it is a vivid emerald-green piece of perfection that looks like it has to be plastic or glass, it can't possibly be anything real, anything natural. The carving has a bale formed from heavy gauge 24K yellow gold hand-twisted wire. The bail is then attached to a 22K (or higher) antique necklace of 2-4 mm pearls and beads of black onyx, Mediterranian precious red coral, very fine Chinese nephrite jade and luminous blueish-white pearls joined together by links made from hand-twisted wire links. This necklace is the same vintage as the jade, circa 1920s-1930s. I can't decide whether the necklace is of Chinese origin or Italian. The necklace is stunning but is essentially a rawhide cord for the carving, which contains a galaxy of transcendent beauty. This heirloom Burmese jadeite jade carving could be worn exactly as it is or it could become a ring of one's own creation or a pendant set into a platinum frame and maybe accented with several natural red diamonds or even installed inside a shadow box and hung on wall. All the photographs were shot in natural light with white bounce cards and one mirror instead of a flash. In the photograph of Broadway star Alice Ripley, the necklace is illuminated by an LED desk lamp to the Tony Award winner's left. The only retouching I performed was to remove dust and lint from the surfaces/backgrounds. The jade you see in these pictures? Is the jade you see in these pictures. When one is considering a jade work at this rarified stratosphere of the market, there is no "D-Flawless, IIa diamond" equivalent because the beauty of a piece of exquisite jade is subjective. Do you prefer a darker Columbian emerald shade of "imperial" jade or a slightly brighter and less blue "apple" color? Do you like your jade to be richly saturated and semi-transparent, with no visible grain? Or do you require a jade piece with natural grain? Some want a carving, others a cabochon, a strand of beads or a bangle. Jade, more than any other gemstone, speaks to you or it does not. In a way, jade chooses you.


  • In the Style Of
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1920s - 1930s
  • Condition Details
    To the naked eye and beneath the microscope, this jade carving is without damage; no chips, cracks, repairs. Jade is unwaxed. The necklace component features minor dents to hollow gold beads.
  • Seller Location
    Southbury, CT
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

New to 1stdibs
Joined in the past six months.
5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2019
Typical response time: <1 hour
Located in Southbury, CT
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