Pair of 19th century gilded silver fingernail guards. The guards would have gone on the little finger of each hand covering the fingernail of the woman. The fingernail would have grown very long and thus been protected from breaking off. This is an expression that the Chinese had that would have clearly indicated that this is a woman of great station, and she would have been unable to do any work. She may have had bound feet also. These are badges of rank, in a sense, and they also express the vulnerability of females.
This pair has a gorgeous overall woven design of coin forms. Its openwork is a filigree pattern. On the upper section of the guard, where the finger is inserted, there is a beautiful cloisonne design of the endless knot. This is an elegant form of jewelry within the Chinese system.
Age: Qing 19th Century
Size: 3.75 inches long
Media: Gilded Silver / Cloisonne
Price: $1,800.00 USD