Help Wordnik hunt for a million missing words by backing our Kickstarter!


Sorry, no definitions found.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Nielloware jewellery from Thailand was a popular gift from American soldiers stationed there to their girlfriends/wives back home from the 1920s to the 1970s. Most of it was completely handmade jewelry.

    The technique is as follows: The artisan would carve a particular character or pattern into the silver, leaving the figure raised by carving out the "background". He would then use the niello inlay to fill in the "background". After being baked in an open fire, the alloy would harden. It would then be sanded smooth and buffed. Finally, a silver artisan would add minute details by hand. Filigree was often used for additional ornamentation. Nielloware is classified as only being black and silver colored. Other colored jewelry originating during this time uses a different technique and is not considered niello.

    Many of the characters shown in nielloware are characters in the Hindu legend Ramayama. Important Thai cultural symbols were also frequently used.


    One of the most popular characters seen in nielloware is Nang Fa the fairy of happiness, also known simply as the Siam faery.

    January 25, 2008