4952

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Pair of Indian Silver Anklets

Rajasthan or Maharashtra, India
circa 1900

approximate diameter of each: 10.5cm, combined weight: 626g

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Provenance

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

This pair of anklets is made of dramatic flexible silver chain and decorated with dozens of small silver bells (ghunghrus) and according to Barnard (2008, p. 16), the tinkling sound that a woman’s anklets made as she approached her lover would fill him with anticipation. Such a scenario is common in Indian literature. The bells here are arrayed into two layers and are suspended from silver floral roundels.

The sides are tapering and they are opened by unscrewing a screw that secures the two ends together. (The screw turns clock-wise to close the anklets.)

The silver coverings that go over the screw mechanism are curved and chased with pairs of addorsed parrots.

Related examples are illustrated in van Cutsem (2002, p. 184) and Jain-Neubauer (2000, p. 40).

Both are in fine condition with only minor and barely detectable deficiencies to the bells.

References

Barnard, N., Indian Jewellery, V&A Publishing, 2008.
van Cutsem, A., A World of Bracelets: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America, Skira, 2002.
Jain-Neubauer, J., Feet & Footwear in Indian Culture, Bata Shoe Museum/Mapin, 2000.

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