Antique shakudo bracelet, circa 1875


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This wonderful example of a shakudo bracelet combines exquisite work in the Japanese panels with skilled, understated mounting into a sturdy sterling silver bracelet by a western jeweller in about 1875.

The name shakudo comes from the dark alloy commonly used in this type of metalwork, and seen here in the background of each scene.

The earliest examples are from about this time, handcrafted by master metalworkers who previously made sword fittings.

When Japan was forced by the United Stares to open its borders the old feudal system disappeared, along with samurai soldiers and their elaborate weapons.

The metalworkers turned their skills to making wares for the export market. As there was no jewellery in Japanese culture the decorative plaques were exported and then set by gold and silversmiths in England, America and Europe, often into jewellery, but sometimes into menu holders and other sundry items.

Early examples like this are often the finest in quality. As the decades passed the old skills became more diluted until the style devolved into secondary costume jewellery in the early 20th century.

An unusual detail in this bracelet is the curve in each panel, lending itself to the bracelet shape in a way that more commonly seen flat shakudo examples do not.


• Handmade in mixed alloys including shakudo and gold, set in sterling silver mounts
• Just over 6 1/2 inches (17cm) long, 1.4cm (just over 1/2 inch) wide
• Weight is 42 grams
• In excellent antique condition
• Will come in a Karen Deakin gift box (my antique boxes are not for sale)
• Note: some of the other jewellery is for sale separately (some has sold) – please get in touch if you’d like information about any of it

Please examine the photographs carefully – they form part of the description.

I’d be very happy to send more information and images. Layaway available.

I accept returns within 14 days if you’re not delighted with your purchase.

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