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Edwardian See, Hear & Speak No Evil Necklace


SMALL STATUETTES of three monkeys like these have been popular in Britain since the 1900s; they are known to have been carried as lucky charms by soldiers in the First World War. They are identified with the proverbial saying ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’, first recorded in 1926 and now generally used sarcastically against those who - through selfishness or cowardice - choose to ignore some wrongdoing. The Wise Monkeys originated in Japan, where they have been known since the 16th century; statues of them are set at crossroads in honour of Koshin, the God of Roads, whose attendants they are. There, their slogan is Mi-zaru, kika-zaru, iwa-zaru, ‘No seeing, no hearing, no speaking’, with a pun on Japanese for ‘Monkey’, and it is used to teach prudence and purity. 


  • Materials

    10k gold (tests), 4 1mm rubies, new 14k gold chain

  • Age

    c. 1910

  • Condition

    Very good

  • Size

    1" length including the bale, 18" chain

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please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.