Shakudo is the use of mixed metal alloys and was originally used in Japanese armor and swords. Artisans would sometimes remove the Shakudo plaques from the armor and incorporate them into jewelry or art. It has become very collectible and quite unusual.
A fob is an adornment or a seal that hangs from the ribbon or chain of a pocket watch. Its purpose is to decorate or add weight to the watch chain itself, making it easier for the watch to be withdrawn from a pocket.
This incredible and unusual mixed metals fob pendant necklace from the early Victorian (ca1850) era is an outstanding example of the Shakudo craft! This bold piece is comprised of a stunning "memento mori" skull fob that hangs at the center of a Shakudo link chain. The 3-dimensional silver locket pendant exhibits exceptional realistic features including a hinged jaw that opens to reveal a small glass-covered space, perfect for storing a special photograph or memento. The Shakudo necklace is comprised of two different yet complimentary strands of chain, with a matching double-sided design featuring floral motif links that connect seamlessly together. The mixed metals display a rich combination of gold, bronze, silver, and gunmetal, creating a wonderful alternating pattern. Both chains meet at a 14kt yellow gold watch swivel clasp, which is stamped "14," and a resting at the other end is a bold, mixed metals toggle bar. A set of initials, "H. J." are engraved in a beautiful script on the back of the skull, which hangs from a simple round bail stamped, "900." Finishing the mixed metals design, is a large, etched yellow gold split connector ring that links the pendant fob to either end of the chain. This unique compilation Victorian piece is simply exceptional, and would make a perfect addition to any Shakudo collection!
Measurements: The Shakudo chain measures approximately 20.25" in total length. The pendant hangs about 7/8" long (including the bail) and measures a little more than 1/2" wide and is approximately 3/4" thick. The toggle bar hangs 1/2" long, and measures about 1 3/8" wide and approximately 1/4" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant necklace is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold and silver settings. The bail and watch swivel clasp are secure and in good working condition. The hinged jaw on the pendant is secure, and the glass locket frame is intact. There is a natural darkened patina on the surface of the skull, which is common given the age of the piece, and adds to its beauty and character.