The term "devil's work" refers to a Chinese technique in which jade jewelry is meticulously hand carved, often featuring seamless interlocking rings or lace-like cutouts that resemble filigree. The time consuming process requires great skill, and was therefore named "devil's work," as though human hands were incapable of producing such intricate work.
This beautiful Chinese pendant from the late Art Deco (ca1930s) era is a wonderful example of devil's work jade jewelry! The pendant has been hand-carved from a solid piece of natural jade, forming the shade of an elongated urn or vessel. At the top of the piece are two interlocking rings, where the "handle" of the urn connects to a jade bail. There is enough space to comfortably fit a delicate chain or a strand of silk cord through the bail to hang the piece from a necklace. The jade has lovely coloring, with a pale, translucent shade of green marbled with streaks of milky white. Lightly etched markings along the surface add further decoration to the urn, including some dash marks at the base, and grooved rings around the neck. This simple yet artistic pendant would make a lovely everyday piece, and is sure to delight any jade collector!
Measurements: The pendant hangs approximately 1 7/8" in total length, including the carved jade bail. The urn is 1 1/2" tall, 1/2" wide at the base, and 1/4" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the jade, which remains free of any significant surface chips or scratches. The carved "devil's work" bail remains structurally secure, and does not display any noticeable cracks that would cause potential for breakage. Extra care should be taken when wearing or handling the piece to ensure that the stone pieces remain in good condition. There are light imperfections and inclusions visible throughout both pieces of jade, which is an attribute of natural jade, and adds to the beauty of its appearance.