Silver Belt with Red Stone & Inscription (Araipatti)
18th century (engraved and dated 1882 with the remark that it has been in a ‘Mahommedan’ family for 200 years)
circumference: 69cm (approx.), height: 7cm, weight: 454g
This heavy gauge, impressive belt and buckle of high-grade solid silver is richly decorated with applique and filigree work. The buckle, which opens to one side with a pin mechanism, is set with a red stone cabochon. The back panels of the belt are in plain, thick silver sheet.
The interior of the back panels have been engraved in very fine script which reads: ‘Zoe Pearse A.D. 1882, previously for 200 years with an Indian Mohommedan family’.
A buckle with a similar stepped pyramid face inset with a tone is attributed to Tamil Nadu in south India and is illustrated in Utracht (1997, p. 245). However the rest of the belt is unlike the example here and the similarity between this and the Utracht buckle might simply be a coincidence.
Overall, an impressive item of the highest quality with an intriguing colonial provenance.
UK art market.
Utracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997
Inventory no.: 1098