Enquiry about object: 5564

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Gold Enamelled Kavach Pendant & Enamelled Gold Bead & Pearl Necklace for a Krishna Devotee

Rajasthan, India
19th century

circumference of necklace: 43cm, overall weight: 27.9g



UK art market

This is a superb necklace. It is particularly fine with heavy gold. The pendant, also of gold, has been very finely enamelled. The necklace also has been strung with pearls and also comprises finely twisted gold wire with gold beads that are faceted and enamelled in white, red and green.

The pendant is enamelled on one side with a pair of footprints (padaka or charan) of the deity – in this case Krishna – and these are decorated with auspicious symbols such as a fish, a banner, a mace, a swastika and the sun. Birds, foliage and flowers surround the footprints.

The other side of the pendant is decorated with more birds and a central roundel enamelled with devanagari script.

Such a pendant and necklace was worn by a Shri Nath-ji devotee or pilgrim associated with the Shri Nath-ji Temple at Nathdwara in Rajasthan by the Vallabhacharya sect. The sect believed that Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, was the highest form of God.

The necklace is in excellent and wearable condition. The enamel work on the gold beads is unusual and marks this out as a particularly special piece.


van Gelder, B., Traditional Indian Jewellery: Beautiful People, ACC Art Books, 2018.

Jain-Neubauer, J., Feet & Footwear in Indian Culture, Bata Shoe Museum/Mapin, 2000.

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

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