ALEX CO SIAM Sterling Silver 3" MONEY HAIR CLIP Niello

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  • Item Category: Jewelry
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Dec 01,2008
  • Channel: Online Auction

You are viewing a vintage sterling silver Money or Hair Clip. Marked "Alex Co - Made in Siam - Sterling". It measures 3 inches long by 3/8 inch wide. It weights approximately 14.5 grams. It is Niello or Nielloware. Please let me know if you have any questions.

This piece has engraved on it what I believe is:

an elephant, walking with trunk high
Thepanom "God of Welcoming"
Ramasoon "God of Thunder"
Mekkala (Mekala) "Goddess of Lightning"
Eravan (Erewan) "The Three-Headed Elephant"
Lakorn Ying "Classical Thai Female Dancer"

According to Wikipedia & , Nielloware describes the charcoal-black and silver (or gold) items from Thailand. The pieces are created by first engraving the silver design, then carving out the "background" areas of the silver. These areas were filled with a sulfur powder mixture (50% sulfur, with varying amounts of copper, silver, and lead). The peice was baked at very high temperatures, then it was smoothed and polished, and finally the silver was re-engraved. Called "khruang thom" in Thailand, Nielloware has had a fascinating period of popularity, especially from the 1950's to 1970's. Nielloware jewelry from Thailand was a popular gift from American soldiers stationed t to their girlfriends/wives back home from the 1920s to the 1970s.
Many of the characters shown in nielloware are characters in the Hindu legend Ramayama. Important Thai cultural symbols were also frequently used.

I am not a collector, so thanks again Wikipedia & for the above information.

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