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This beautiful charm necklace would have been intended for an infant to protect it from all manner of ills from insect bites to stomach worms to small tigers.
It comprises 17 charms of gilded silver strung on original cotton twine along with many small gilded silver faceted beads and several orange-coloured glass trade beads. Eight of the charms comprise animal teeth, each with a superb patina.
One charm, of medallion shape, is impressed with a female deity form.
Talismanic necklaces were worn throughout India and the Himalayas. Such necklaces were especially protective if assembled and blessed by a holy man.
It is likely that this example is from the Himalayan part of India, although related examples were worn by the Newar people of Nepal. (See Borel, 1994, p. 158 for a Newar example).
The wear and patina on this necklace is stunning.
Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.
Gabriel, H., Jewelry of Nepal, Thames & Hudson, 1999.