Ruby-set Silver Bride’s Dowry Necklace
19th-early 20th century
width of silver element: 13cm, height of silver element: 11.5cm, total weight: 105g
This complex silver necklace comprises multiple elements in silver all attached via silver wires over a thick waxed black cord. The lower part of the necklace is decorated with a single, tear-shaped ruby cabochon in a silver box setting.
Such necklaces, often seen in gold too, were given to brides in and around Jodhpur – usually among Marwari families – as part of their dowry. The multiple small elements and profuse seed-like attachments are said to be like seeds and small fruits meant to encourage the bride’s fertility. As such, these necklaces were kept by the recipients and carefully preserved all their lives.
The necklace has no apparent losses and is in a wearable condition.
Geoffroy-Schneiter, B., Asian Jewellery: Ethnic Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings, Belts, Head Ornaments, Skira, 2011.
A World of Necklaces: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America from the Ghysels Collection, Skira, 2003.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 4332
A Marwari couple.