ITEM 33685

Chiefly Ornament with Ancestor Motifs

Leti island, Indonesia
Gold alloy, metal, yarn
19th Century or earlier
2.5 x 2.75 in / 6.35 x 7 cm

This necklace speaks to a brilliant cultural fusion. It combines the Taoist Immortal Shou Lau holding the fungus of longevity and riding his crane mount, taken from a Peranakan bride’s headdress, plus a pair of exceptionally rare Leti ancestor figures in classical cubist style suspended from stylized clouds. Leti is located in the far eastern Maluku Islands of Indonesia where Chinese have maintained a presence for centuries trading porcelain for fat sea cucumbers and spices.