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Pair of Indian Silver Anklets

Orissa, India
circa 1900

length: 13cm, width: 9.5cm, combined weight: 258g



Collection of the late Paul Walter, New York, probably acquired in London.

Each of this pair of silver anklets for a woman comprises a hollow, squarish tube of sheet silver, shaped into an undulating oval with applied decorations which have the appearance of woven or bound string with bows.

They have small stones inside, so that when the wearer walked, the process would be accompanied by a light tinkling sound.

This type of anklet is attributed to various regions of India, but Orissa is the most likely origin of this pair.

They are decorative and sculptural. Such anklets are in keeping with traditional Indian Hindu notions about the feet and their importance. Most Indian would go with bare feet, so they were in contact with the earth – the source of life and nourishment. It is fitting therefore that the feet be decorated.

The pair here are in fine condition.

A related pair attributed to Orissa is illustrated in Hoek (2004, p. 143).


van Cutsem, A., A World of Bracelets: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America, Skira, 2002.
Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.

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