20k Straits Chinese filigree pendant crafted in a period between 1920s and 1940s.
This antique gold pendant is made by Chinese or Indian craftsmen in this region (Singapore, Malaysia, or then "Malaya"). Such Peranakan pieces reflect a blending of local culture and Victorian fashion, exploding in a myriad of styles that adapt Art Nouveau and Art Deco motifs.
Because there was so much demand for Peranakan jewelry, it is more common to find a piece of jewelry adapting a predecessor piece (ie. similar but dissimilar!), than to find a piece truly Victorian or chiefly Art Nouveau or Deco era. The Peranakan affluence (and hence exposure to Western fashion) and love for Western culture before enthusiastically adapting to local auspices cannot be overstated!
This filigree pendant is a freeform shape of no particular motif but quiet Peranakan craftsmanship set with hand cleaved diamonds. It is actually less common to find a piece with no insect / animal / floral motifs and just plain open gold work.
You will like this if you are new to Straits Chinese jewelry and want to sport a unique piece of old ethnic craftsmanship.
If you examine the open gold work, you will appreciate the gold filigree does not lie flat, but is built at a contour so the pendant will sit slightly raised when strung on a necklace.