Gold Vaishnavite Wedding Necklace (Kolhapuri Sag) with Fine Turquoise & Gold Beads
19th century & later
length: 41cm, weight: 21g
This fine, very beautiful and very wearable necklace comprises 26 pendant beads made of sheet gold and decorated with symbols associated with Vishnu, along with dozens of very fine faceted gold beads and dozens of small turquoise beads of matched size. The necklace also has a traditional Indian gold clasp. Each pendant bead has a small loop at the base through which an additional bead could be threaded.
The Vaishnavite gold pendant beads form a complete set for this type of wedding necklace worn in Maharashtra. Often they would also be worn with a central, large
The small gold beads and the turquoise beads are not traditional and presumably are later. The threading is definitely later. But altogether, the beads form a very attractive necklace.
A related necklace is illustrated in Bala Krishnan & Kumar (1999, p. 75) who say that such a necklace with gold beads decorated with emblems symbolising the ten incarnations of Vishnu (the Preserver) is work for ‘luck, happiness, fertility and health’. A necklace with similar Vaishnavite gold beads is illustrated in Untracht (1997, p 233).
Bala Krishnan, U.R., & M.S. Kumar, Dance of the Peacock: Jewellery Traditions of India, India Book House Ltd, 1999.
Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 3546