A beautiful Siam nielloware necklace from the mid 20th century, c1950! Made of sterling silver and made in Siam (Thailand), this lovely necklace features dancing figures with a lustrous black niello 'enamel' surround. The necklace consists of flower-esque shaped front links and smaller niello decorated marquise links at the back. An engraved original tongue clasp fastens the necklace securely at the back neck. The necklace is stamped "SIAM STERLING" and measures 16" (40cm) long.
Thai nielloware jewellery, aka niello enamel silver, refers to the dark background on silver. Although referred to as niello enamel, niello isn't technically an enamel, it is typically a metal alloy consisting of copper, silver, lead and sulfur. A technique which was used centuries ago in Europe, and then rediscovered by skilled Thai artisans in the 20th century. The niello frames bright hand engraved mythology figures which have important allegorical tales in Hindu religion.
This necklace depicts Mekhala, the goddess of lightning to the smaller links, and Lakorn Ying, a classical Thai female dancer to the larger front link.
Video of the necklace can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/07xg5fuQe0Y
A striking vintage necklace with oodles of Hindu history!