Inventory no.: 835

Ceylonese jewellery / jewelry


Silver & Gold Brooch with Amethysts & Zircon

Lowlands, Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

19th century

length: 4.7cm

weight: 11g

This elegant brooch comprises clear stones, probably zircons, and amethysts, in a gold and silver setting.

Ceylonese silversmiths and other craftsmen produced items with Dutch influence during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This brooch is one example, which has parallels with eighteenth century European jewellery, albeit with South Asian motifs: the brooch employs lotus-like

katiri mala flower motifs for example.

Such brooches were the basis for the

kerosang brooches used by the Straits Chinese and Malay women in Malaysia and Singapore. Such brooches were used in place of buttons to keep blouses closed. Many were produced by expatriate Tamil craftsmen.

This brooch is in a stable, wearable condition.


A brooch of similar construction is illustrated in Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956, plate XLIX.

Inventory no.: 835