By Ase Anderson in London
The imperial swords owned by a prominent 18th century Chinese emperor are the inspiration behind YEWN's latest Imperial Amulet collection.
Chinese jeweller Dickson Yewn's fascination with the Qianlong Emperor, who ruled China for six decades, began when he was just a child.
Known as the "All Accomplishing Wise Man", the emperor was a patron of fine arts and crafts and would become renowned for his astonishing collection of antiques. In 1748 he commissioned the imperial craftsmen to make 30 swords and 90 broadswords, which were divided into three collections named the Heaven, the Land and the Human Being.
An avid collector of antiques himself, the young Dickson first saw a Qing Dynasty sword, named No. 17 of Heaven, at an auction preview and its sharp outline and intricate decorations left a lasting impression on him.
Now he has recreated these jewelled swords for the Imperial Amulet collection that was unveiled at Paris Fashion Week. In white and yellow gold, set with white jade, rubies, sapphires and other precious stones, each amulet is a limited edition.
The collection also showcases the skilled craftsmanship that has brought Dickson Yewn to the top of his profession. The amulets were created using the same traditional goldsmithing techniques as the original Chinese swordsmiths as well as fine stone setting, jade carving and laser engraving.
He also pays tribute to the Qing Dynasty's association with Islamic culture and astrology by incorporating an engraved "Big Dipper" both on the blade of the imperial sword and on the locking mechanism that holds the blade and scabbard together.