Jadeite necklace at auction tells family's tale

By Lin Qi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-05-26 16:57
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One of the two jadeite bead necklaces Oei gave to his daugter Cong-lan. [Photo provided to China Daily]

During a business trip in Beijing in the early 20th century, Chinese-Indonesian sugar magnate Oei Tiong Ham bought two exquisite jadeite bead necklaces from renowned jade dealer Tieh Bao Ting. The beads were taken from a court necklace formally owned by the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)'s royal family.

Jadeite or feicui in Chinese is favored among jewelry collectors, as it glitters with elegance and majesty. 

Oei gave the necklaces to his two daughters; Oei Hui-lan, also known as Madame Wellington Koo and her elder sister Cong-lan. Cong-lan later gifted the necklace to her daughter-in-law Fougere Hsia. It had been kept as a family legacy for decades until being auctioned in a New York sale in 2010.

The necklace will appear at Holly's International's auction in Beijing from June 2 to 5.

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