Enquiry about object: 4988

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Silver Amulet Box

Karnataka, India
19th century

length: 16.3cm, height: 7.3cm, weight: 120g



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

This very fine silver amulet box comprises a round tubular section with two conical ends, and a rectangular section on top decorated with a row of bud-like finials.

One end of the tubular section screws out (a long way) so that talismanic items can be inserted into the box.

The tubular section is chased with three bands of fine, scrolling foliage and flowers. The rectangular section is beautifully chased with a central, protective kurtimukha mask and long-nosed makaras on either side. The reverse is decorated with trellised cross-hatching in-filled with solar motifs.

The row of finials cover a copper tube through which a chain or cord would have been threaded to allow the box to be suspended around the wearer’s neck.

A similar example is illustrated in Untracht (1997, p. 120), and Borel (1997, p. 144).

The example here has ample wear from having been worn. It is in fine condition and without losses or repairs.


Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.

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

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