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

    Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
    18th-19th century

    length (including the fringe of gilded disks): 12.5cm, width: approximately 6cm, weight: 46g

    Available Enquire


    UK art market

    This large pendant of gilded silver, 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 carved coral.

    A multi-headed gold cobra provides a protective hood over the group. Each cobra head terminates with suspended, gilded peepel leaf and tiny seed pearls.

    The outer border of the pendant is set with turquoise cabochons, some carved.

    Vishnu’s head and the lower border are set with single red cabochon stones.

    The pendant is suspended from a gilded loop set with turquoise and coral cabochons.

    A fringe of gilded disks which hang from tiny pearls and coral beads, is suspended from the lower part of the pendant (some are deficient).

    Such a pendant was made either for the ear, or perhaps the neck, and possibly meant to decorate a statue if not an actual person.

    It is a fine example of Newar metalwork from the Kathmandu Valley. A related earring is in the British Museum. Another is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see Clarke, 2004, p. 115). Another is illustrated in Ghose (2016, p. 80).

    The piece is in fine condition. There are minor losses. The age of the piece is clear.


    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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