A spectacular pair of figural 19th century Chinese earrings inlaid with iridescent blue kingfisher feather earrings. The tops are modeled as goldfish, and the drops as a frogs sitting on lily pads. Impressive in scale, at over 3 inches long. In an unusual bronze alloy with the original ear wires. Those sensitive or allergic to metals may wish to have the wires converted to gold-- something we can do upon request. The technique of inlaying the feathers from a particular species of Cambodian kingfisher into metal work is known as Tian-Tsui. The art form dates back at least 2000 years. Traditionally, Tian-Tsui jewelry and hair ornaments were important status symbols in China. At one time the sale of Kingfisher feathers to China was one of Cambodia's most important sources of revenue. It's believed the construction of Angkor Wat was funded largely by the sale of feathers. Tian-Tsui reached its height of popularity in the 19th century. By the turn of the 20th century, it was also being exported, and even faked with dyed blue feathers. The demand for Cambodian kingfisher feathers was so high that the species nearly became extinct. It's banned today.