bracelet cut from a section of shell, forming a spiral with an open center; whitish with brownish and greenish areas

Bracelet, c. 1000 BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more

Conch Shellexpand_more

Gift of the Asian Art Councilexpand_more  2001.6.5.1

G213expand_more

Southeast Asian people placed high value on shell ornaments and the use of polished shell preceeded the use of jade for fine jewelry. Excavations demonstrate that these ornaments were not funerary offerings but actual adornments worn during people's lifetimes. Generally, imported seashells and conches were the preferred material with which to produce these ornaments, as inland shells were too small to make bracelets. These three examples were each fashioned from relatively thin sections cut from conch shells. They have been enhanced by emphasizing the natural spiral patterns found in the shell creating a beautifully abstract form. It became less meaningful for the social elite to wear shell and ornaments after the gradual introduction of bronze, glass, and semi-precious hardstones during the first millenium b.c.

Details
Title
Bracelet
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2001.6.5.1
Curator Approved

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bracelet cut from a section of shell, forming a spiral with an open center; whitish with brownish and greenish areas