Pair of Silver Cloak Fasteners (Koma)
early 20th century
diameter: 6cm, weight: 81g (combined)
This pair of women’s dress or cloak fasteners (koma) is of openwork silver attached to a thick sheet silver backing plate, inset with a green cabochon stone. The fasteners are of foliate form. They would have attached to the front of the dress (kira) – one on either shoulder or upper chest – and then been linked by a chain than ran around the back of the neck. This pair has hooks and an eyelet for the chain on the backs of each. The eyelets themselves have plenty of wear associated with year’s of usage.
Most extant examples of such fasteners are relatively new, perhaps dating to the last forty years (indeed this type of accoutrement for a Bhutanese woman’s dress only appeared in the early twentieth century) but this pair have obvious wear and age from decades of actual use. The contours of the silver have been softened and the pair have a superb patina, front and back.
Myers, D., and S. Bean (eds),
From the Land of the Thunder Dragon: Textile Arts of Bhutan, Serindia, 1994.
UK private collection
Inventory no.: 1356