4991

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Woman’s Enamelled Silver Head Ornament with Chiri Tikka

Himachal Pradesh, India
circa 1900

length: 28cm, weight: 178g

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Provenance

Collection of the late Paul Walter, New York, probably acquired in London.

This item of enamelled silver would have been worn around and over the head, with the central pendant (chiri tikka) hanging down over the forehead.

It comprises two side straps of chains and plaques and suspended tear-shaped spangles adorning the sides. Triangular plaques decorated with blue, green and yellow fields of enamel are linked to each of these, and from these the chiri tikka is suspended. The chiri tikka itself is decorated with multiple suspended tear shaped spangles and small enamelled plaques with silver sphere dangles. There is also a silver hook on a central silver wire band that would have been linked to a chain that would go over the wearer’s head to help support the weight of the chiri tikka.

The enamel and silverwork is typical of that which was worn by women in Himachal Pradesh.

A similar chiri tikka (minus the associated bands of chains) is illustrated in Hoek (2004, p. 130), and a very similar example is illustrated in Untracht (1997, p. 214).

The item here is in excellent condition. It is a fine collector’s piece but could also be converted to a necklace.

References

Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.

Untracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.

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