Before the country's civil war in the mid-20th century, the Lao city of Luang Prabang was home to the silversmiths who worked under the patronage of the royal family. After the war, most moved to the capital of Vientiane for safety, and it is there that these ornate accessories are handcrafted in an age-old tradition that begins with melting pure silver bullion into sheets and wires.
These disc-shaped earrings are based on a royal pattern worn by the last princess of Laos and also used at the palace in Luang Prabang as a shield on the king's elephant war saddle. This version is left bright, not oxidized, in keeping with the silver that Lao people wear for wedding ceremonies.
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