Friday, August 15, 2008

Melli's Dragon Hunt Challenge - Day 6

I found this piece of gold jewelry with a dragon in Main St. Flushing, N.Y. I was going to shoot it from outside the shop when I thought I might ask the proprietor if it would be alright to photograph it from inside where there would be no glare from the window.

They buzzed me into the shop and four ladies in blue uniforms came forward and took the necklace out of the window and set it up for me to photograph. I took a couple of shots and they were very pleased as was I.

As you might notice the dragon is on the right side while a rooster phoenix is on the left side of the necklace. The heart in the center is highly decorated as is the rest of the necklace. I wanted to ask questions about it but I didn't want to overstay my welcome. It looks like there is a sunflower over the heart.

Who would wear such a necklace? Certainly not me. Maybe a princess, a very rich princess of a very important Chinese dynasty.

Here's what it says about the Dragon Chinese Zodiac:

The dragon enjoys a very high reputation in Chinese culture. It is the token of authority, dignity, honor, success, luck, and capacity. In ancient China, a dragon was thought to speed across the sky with divine power. Emperors entitled themselves exclusively as 'dragon'; their thrones were called 'dragon thrones', their clothes 'dragon gowns'.

The phoenix has always been the symbol of rebirth or new beginnings.

The Dragon and the Rooster phoenix are probably good matches. So it makes me think that a very rich Chinese lover would give his lady this necklace as an engagement or wedding gift.

UPDATE: The information graciously given by Chan Chee Khiong in the comments has made me correct my observations a bit.

Quoting Chan: "It's a necklace for wedding. The word on the 'heart' is usually used only for wedding which are two 'happiness' placed side by side.I think the dragon represents the groom and the phoenix, the bride. The pair are legendary creatures traditionally used to symbolise the masculine and the feminine and are usually shown together."

Also Elaine Ling had information for me. I should have asked people in the know before I wrote my commentary! Duh!

For other Dragons go to Melli's Prevailing Insanity




Jeff B said...

What an amazing amount of detail. Can't imagine have the patience to do such intricate work.

Chan Chee Khiong said...

Nice... Haven't see a necklace like like this.

It's a necklace for wedding. The word on the 'heart' is usually used only for wedding which are two 'happiness' placed side by side.

I think the dragon represents the groom abd the phoenix, the bride. The pair are legendary creatures traditionally used to symbolise the masculine and the feminine and are usually shown together.

napaboaniya said...

*smiles* During Chinese customary weddings. The bride often receive lots of gold jewelry from the elders. The dragon and phoenix is one the most popular items :)

Nice find you've got here!! :)

quilly said...

I wondered if maybe your "rooster" wasn't really a Phoenix. I see much more knowledgeable commenters than I, have already shared their expertise.

This looks like a major chuck of gold and the workmanship is incredible. I wholly understand the security, and I marvel that they let you in just to photograph.

Carletta said...

Amazing! You were so confident in asking to photograph it - great job!
I give you the award for going the greatest distance so to speak in capturing a dragon!

Gretchen said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love dragons and have quite a collection, but don't have this one.

Gattina said...

You really became a dragon ... specialist ! Interesting about the rooster, I think I am more rooster than dragon, fortunately ! although my husband might think the other way around !
I still had no opportunity to go on dragon hunting, lol !

Alice - I Was Born2Cree8 said...

Wow, you sure found one expensive and awesome dragon, didn't you. Incredible!! Perhaps the bride of a very wealthy Chinese emperor or something like that wore it on her wedding day. One born in the year of the dragon, the other in the year of the rooster, the heart symbolizing their love and the sunflower their joy. Or something like that, hahaha.

eastcoastlife said...

That's a beautiful piece of gold ornament! Great for my niece's wedding dowry!

Hootin' Anni said...

Wow....oh wow. Four guards surrounding you to photograph the gold dragon. Amazing! You go girl!!!!

Carver said...

You are coming up with some great dragons. When I was looking through Chinese collections I inherited, I noticed a lot of roosters but none on the same pieces with the dragons. That's cool how this has both.

Ivanhoe said...

Oh my, it must have been heavy, too. I could not wear it either.
BTW: I'm a dragon in Chinese Calendar :o)

Julia Smith said...

Yes, I was going to say I think it must have been a necklace signifying a bond between someone born in the year of the Rooster and one born a Dragon. It's absolutely gorgeous.

I'm a dragon, and one of my dear friends is a rooster. We get along perfectly. It's wonderful how the store employees helped you get such a wonderful shot of the necklace for your blog.

Chan Chee Khiong said...

OMG! You gave me much honour by quoting me on your post.... *blush*

Thank you very much.

Only now I realise there're typos on my comment. Silly me.

WillThink4Wine said...

You're really having great success in your Dragon Hunt, Mary!

Jamie said...

A truly amazing piece of jewelry as well as a lovely window on the traditions of another culture.

If you care to stop by, I completed the Big Read meme.

Steven said...

this is Beautifully- Greeting for You! Steven

Melli said...

That is gorgeous! WAY gaudy - but gorgeous none the less! I can't imagine wearing something like that either (and I've got the chest to handle it! LOL!)

I had similar luck with a jewelry shop... but I didn't get nearly so nice a photo - despite our efforts! I reckon you'll see tomorrow!

david mcmahon said...

Great work, lovely photograph and what a spirit of co-operation from the shop assistants.

Love the book meme too. Many on the list that are my all-time favourites.