Inventory no.: 3095

Himachal Pradesh Silver Cloak Clasp


Silver & Turquoise Dress Clasp

Himachal Pradesh, Himalayan India

late 19th century

height: 11.5cm, width: 10.8cm, weight: 92g

This distinct type of cloak fastener or fibula is from the mountainous region of Himachal Pradesh. It is made of silver that has been chased with geometric motifs. Two bosses decorated with lotus petals are inset with green turquoise cabochons.

According to Untracht (1997, p. 139), the three circular forms of the clasp symbolise the three gems of Buddhism. Lotus forms set with gems are an allusion to the Tibetan mantra or dharani, ‘

om mani padme hom‘ (‘hail to the jewel in the lotus’, ie Avalokiteshvara).

See Untracht (1997, p. 138) and Clarke (2004, p. 100) for illustrated examples.

The example here is in fine condition. Its contours have been softened by wear.


Clarke, J., Jewellery of Tibet and the Himalayas, V&A Publications, 2004.

Untracht, O.,

Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.Provenance:

UK art market

Inventory no.: 3095