Enquiry about object: 5870

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    Unusually Fine & Flexible Indian Silver Chain Necklace (Kamardani)

    Karnataka, India
    19th century

    length: 82cm, weight: 200g

    Available - Enquire


    private collection, UK

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This necklace (it might also have been intended as a belt originally) is of a type of work known as kamardani but this example is highest-quality, most flexible example that we have seen.

    It is composed entirely of almost-pure silver and as such is noticeably heavy for its size.

    The style of chain is loop in loop with a hooked closure. The finished chain is drawn through a drawplate to make it smooth, and then with age and wear, the surface becomes even smoother and supple, a process that is aided bu the softness and purity of the silver. The hooked closure is unusually fine too, with raised, serrated rings around each ending.

    The effect of the flexible, loop-in-loop chain is that its movement imitates that of a snake, which has associations in Hinduism with fertility and creation.

    Belts or necklaces of similar silver wire work are illustrated in Untracht (1997, p. 242 ) and Leurquin (2004, p. 143).

    Overall, this is a beautiful and wearable necklace in excellent condition.


    Leurquin, A., A World of Belts: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America from the Ghysels Collection, Skira, 2004.

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

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