Exceptional Korean Openwork Double Happiness Chatelaine With Attached Ribbons

Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio is excited to offer The Craig Collection of Korean Chatelaines and Charms in our upcoming April 2014 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Exhibited here is the flagship piece of the collection, an impressive, ornate and colorful Chatelaine. These items are believed to be gifts given to brides on their wedding days, and contain charms, amulets, and coins to offer protection and good luck. This particular Chatelaine features an openwork design with a large compound character (Happiness) within a dual frame and surmounted by a charm and rope motif. At the top of the frame is a metal hanger and attached to the structure is a luxurious embroidered red ribbon which appears to have been used as a hanger as well. Also attached to the front are two intricately embroidered bats (a symbol of wealth and good fortune) with tassels, which are attached to the piece with red cord that is tied in an infinity knot (a metaphor to the union of the bride and groom). The detail of the embroidery on the bat pieces is astonishing, and despite the age, they remain original and well preserved. Two bats signify double happiness; much like the ornate openwork metal piece displays the double happiness character. A total of nine exquisitely embroidered ribbons are attached to the bottom of the frame, in a rainbow of colors. Each of the nine ribbons splits into at least three different colored ribbons, so when they are fully spread out, the color and detail is truly wonderful. The ribbon colors include teal, yellow, red, purple with red embroidery, white, pink and navy blue. All of the ribbons have an embroidered pattern as well. Attached to these ribbons are 68 charms, 12 seed coins (the specially prepared examples which are then used to create molds for the regular issue coinage) and 34 regular issue coins. Nearly all of the coins and charms have pigmentation, which if present is entirely original. Some of the coins have two, three, even four colors present, including blue, red, green and yellow. This example was very carefully preserved and is a true testament to the craftsmanship of these pieces. Overall this piece is an attractive and original and is sure to cause furious bidding once it reaches the auction podium.


Look for this and other Asian numismatic rarities in our upcoming April 2014 Hong Kong Auction. Preview this impressive item along with the rest of our auction this March at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office in Irvine, California. For details please refer to our online Events Calendar. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. 

While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio April Hong Kong Showcase Auction is closed for further consignments, we are currently accepting consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for our 2014 August Hong Kong and August ANA sales. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors. 

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