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    Bhutanese Pair of Silver Cloak Pins (Thinkhab)

    19th century

    length: 10.2-11cm, combined weight: 47g



    private collection, Germany.

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This pair of long cloak pins is interesting for the quality of the silverwork that has been employed in their manufacture. The long pins are decorated with a twist for the first half and then gadrooning with wavy motifs for the rest. They are topped with cylinders that could hold loops to which chains were attached. The cylinders are chased with floral motifs.

    Cloaks were worn over the shoulder by women in Bhutan at all ceremonial occasions and in the presence of senior officials and royalty. Pins were used to hold the cloaks in place. Later, into the 20th century, round, button-like fasteners (koma) were used.

    The ends normally are straight but probably were bent around by the wearer to better allow them to hook under a pair of koma. The koma developed later as a fashion and so this pair of pins might have been adapted to accommodate the new fashion.


    Geoffrey-Schneiter, B., Bijoux des Toits du Monde de la Chine au Caucase, Foundation Baur, Musee des Artes D’Extreme-Orient/5 Continents, 2012.

    Myers, D., and S. Bean (eds), From the Land of the Thunder Dragon: Textile Arts of Bhutan, Serindia, 1994.

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