6122

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Indian Silver Amulet Necklace

Northern India, probably Dolmar, Uttarakhand
19th century

approximate circumference: 76cm, typical length of silver box: 7.5cm, weight: 140g

Available - Enquire

Provenance

UK art market

This talismanic necklace comprises nine embossed silver tubular amulet boxes each of which would have contained some protective Islamic scripture, threaded onto the original cotton cord.

The central, lower box is decorated with four embossed, double-sided leaf-form spangles suspended from twisted silver wires.

An almost identical example (but with two fewer amulet boxes compared with our example) was published in 1909 (Hendley, 1995, reprinted, pl. 57).  Hendley identifies the necklace as coming from Dolnaraj, which today probably is the town of Dolmar. He says that the trellis pattern filled with spigs on the boxes is replicated on the textiles, metalwork and woodwork of the Punjab. He also points out that the copper doors at the Sikh temple in Amristar are similarly embossed.

Another, related, but probably later example is in Daalder (2009, p. 319).

The example here has significant, obvious age. It is complete. Some of the amulet boxes have minor, age and wear-related denting.

References

Daalder, T., Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment: Australia, Oceania, Asia, Africa, Ethnic Art Press/Macmillan, 2009.

Hendley, T.H., Indian Jewellery, 1909, Low Price Publications, reprinted 1995.

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