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    Nepalese Gilded & Gold Vishnu Pendant set with Semi-Precious Stones

    Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
    18th-19th century

    length: 7.3cm, width: 7.5cm, weight: 58g

    Available Enquire


    UK art marjet

    This large, complex pendant of gilded copper, gold and semi-precious stones shows a four-armed and crowned Vishnu astride Garuda, his celestial vehicle or vahana, who is depicted with wings out-stretched.

    Vishnu’s body is of carved lapis lazuli, and the body of Garuda is of carnelian and carved rock crystal. Garuda’s wings are set with lapis lazuli. Both wear ample gold jewellery. Vishnu’s is set with red stone cabochons and Garuda’s with turquoise.

    Attendants stand on either side, their bodies set with coral, chank shell, and turquoise.

    Garuda stands on a curved platform set with a row of rubies and then a row of turquoise.

    An arch which frames Vishnu is set with red stones.

    The top of the pendant has a small loop to allow suspension. The lower edge has a row of gilded looped wire from which dangles might have been suspended.

    The reverse of the pendant is gilded, and set with three turquoise-coloured cabochons in gilded, pearled-wire box settings.

    There is also a large gilded hook to allow the item to be fastened to fabric or perhaps to a statue. Indeed, such an ornament might have been made for either an important person to wear, or was used to decorate a statue perhaps on important temple days.

    It is a fine example of Newar metalwork from the Kathmandu Valley.

    The piece is in fine condition. There are no apparent losses.


    Casey Singer, J., Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal, Thames & Hudson, 1996.

    Clarke, J., Jewellery of Tibet and the Himalayas, V&A Publications, 2004.

    Ghose, M. (ed.), Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016.

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