The Monkey // Ref. 112713 // Year 2016 // Limited Edition #452/512 // 925 Steling Silver & deep black precious resin // Green Peridot 0.3 Ct brillant cut.
First of Chinese Zodiacs series. Rare.
Zodiac Signs: a general introduction
Astrology (etymologically « search for meaning in the sky ») is the study based on movements and relative positions of celestial objects to predict terrestrial and human events. Astrological or Zodiac signs, which appear in both Weastern and Eastern culture, are a direct conseguence of this kind of study. Their origins and method of interpretation differ greatly through the centuries depending on civilizations. In the Western culture these signs are aligned with the path of the sun and stars constellations. In fact people observed that the sun travels in the course of a year through some constellations, which emerged to be twelve, like the months in the Gregorian Calendar . As this constellations were associated with the outlines of certains animals they were given animals names and each person born in the time frame connected with the constellation was characterized by a particular Zodiac Sign. This interpretation can be found in many different cultures such as Babylonian, Greek, Egyptian and Indian. Remarkably, East Asia stands alone in possessing a zodiac with a completely different frame of reference.
The Chinese zodiac
The Chinese zodiac lie in the realm of myths and legends and consists excusively of animal symbols. It covers twelve years, but it’s not restricted only to this cycle. The 24 hours of the day are also divided into pairs of hours and combined with the twelve animals. The animals themselves are organised by group of three per season and compass direction. Tiger, rabbit and dragon are associated with spring and the East; snake, horse and sheep go with summer ant the South; monkey, rooster and dog stand for autumn and the West, while pig, rat and buffalo relate to winter and the North. The Chinese calendar is based on a cycle of 60 years and it’s characterized by a binding between earthly branches, zodiac symbols, heavenly stems and the five elements. According to the legend this system, that is supposed to govern life on earth and determine destiny, was first introduced by the “Yellow Emperor” Huangdi in 2637 BC. This date is taken by many as the beginning of the Chinese calendar, which influenced almost every East Asian culture. There are various legend that explains the inclusion and ordering of the animals in the zodiac. One of the most known finds the Jade Emperor holding a race for all the animals in the kingdom. The first twelve animals to cross the stream shall be named the animals of the zodiac. This race is won by the rat that becomes the first animal of the zodiac, followed by the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep,the monkey, the rooster, the dog and finally the pig. During centuries the zodiac becomes integral part of the East Asian culture and can be found as subject of many texts and poems, but also represented in Art and everyday objects. Each animal in the Chinese calendar has specific characteristics and, according to legend, all the people born in the year of a certain animal automatically inherit its peculiarities. On account of this, the chinese name for the zodiac is “shengxiao” (“sheng=”birth” and “xiao”=”similarity”).
The 2016 was the year of the mokey, animal highly honoured in all East Asian countries and with a focal role in literature and art. Two exemples are the novel “Journey to the West” by Wu Cheng’en and the trio of monkeys who “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”, also well-represented in wester culture. For chinese people monkey is considered intelligent and demanding, with a very good memory and really curious but also with no scruples and sometimes arrogant. In 2016 the year of the monkey is also combined with the element fire which warms, changes, burns, multiply the energy of the monkey and also consumes its energy very quickly. Another element connected with this particular year is the peridot, a brilliant olive-green stone discovered by Egyptians and called “precious stone of the sun”. The limitation of the Limited Edition 8x8x8 refers to nember eight; lucky number in Asian cultures, made luckyer by the repetition. The design of this Edition, with his barrel made of deep black precious resin, is devoted to the zodiac symbol of the monkey. The cap, encased in hand-engraved 925 sterling silver, features the top ring engraved with the year 2016 plus the last six that have fallen under the monkey sign (and namely: 1944 – 1956 – 1968 – 1980 – 1992 – 2016). Embedded in the cone we find a splendid green peridot (0,3 carats). The monkey motif is continued in fine engraving on the handcrafted 750 gold nib.
The concerned pen comes in mint condition. It has never been used nor inked. All original boxes, papers and packaging: display box, outer box, outer sleeve, Service guide, Certificate and booklet.