Late 19th-Century Tibetan Wedding Necklace

Value (2016) | $1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction

Oh, I bought it at a local thrift store for about two dollars.

Thrift store for two dollars. That's great. Well, we think it's a 19th-century... very late 19th century necklace. It is very, very beautiful, and it is, we think, from western Tibet, and this centerpiece here is actually a woman's earring. It's fairly typical for Tibetans to reuse beads in jewelry and then in clothing, so as far as dating this item, it's a little bit difficult-- some of the beads may be older and some of them may be newer. It was probably a wedding necklace.

Would it be a man's or a woman's?

It would be a woman's.

It's awful heavy, you know.

Yeah, the robes are quite heavy, and then they'd have a headdress as well, so it was, all in all, very elaborate. The top part here, the clasp, is actually a bronze Chinese zodiac coin. We can see the 12 animals of the zodiac. It's a wonderful piece, and it's actually backed onto sort of a coarse cotton and woven in here and supported by that. And we have pearls here, and we have coral beads, and we have a greenish turquoise, and then also this very, very bright blue turquoise that's used in the actual earring. And it's such a beautiful, striking, gorgeous necklace. It's very rare in that Tibetan pieces are seldom seen on the market today, and if you do find them, they tend to be in rather poor condition. But this is in very good condition and it's a nice piece, and we think that at auction, it would probably bring between $3,000 and $4,000.


So good investment.

Oh, yeah. It's nice, thank you.

Thanks for bringing it in.

Appraisal Details

Doyle New York
New York, NY
Update (2016)
$1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction
Appraised value (2004)
$3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
Memphis, TN (July 31, 2004)
Asian Arts
Bronze , Pearl

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