Chữ Nôm Birthdate Bracelets

December 2016
14 karat white gold

A good friend of mine commissioned these bracelets for his wife to celebrate their two sons. He had seen the Princess Cuff that I'd done in the early Aughts, and wanted something similar. His wife is Vietnamese, so we used the chữ nôm characters for the numerals in their sons' birthdates to make up the shanks of the bracelets.

Modern Vietnamese is, of course, written in a French-influenced Latin script. While it isn't difficult to find the chữ nôm digits themselves, it's nearly impossible to find a calligrapher who is able to write those characters in cursive Vietnamese (at least outside of Vietnam). Thankfully, given my own background in Chinese calligraphy, I was able to reconstruct what the characters would look like based on the morphology of Chinese characters with similar components. Then it was a simple matter of predicting brushstroke direction to connect the components, which led to the designs of the two bracelets. The halves of each bracelet are connected by a riveted pin hinge, and close with a box clasp.

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