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This small, gold ring has a form based on the upper-arm armlets made in gold that have a ‘U’ shaped hoop or band known as vanki. This form seems to have been made in Tamil Nadu in the 18th and possibly 19th centuries.
The face of the ring is decorated with a central deity – probably Lakshmi – and two small attendants on either side. It is set with a simply faceted ruby. Two small pearls are suspended from the base of the ring by gold wire, and the top of the ring is mounted by a further pearl in a gold box setting.
Meanwhile, the ‘U’-shaped hoop or band is in twisted or plaited gold.
The use of deity figures in the ring suggests it served a protective, talismanic purpose.
The ring is in fine condition. It is small and would be suitable for the small finger for most female wearers.
A gold arm band, on which the form of the ring here is based. Displayed in the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet (Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts.) in Paris.
Barnard, N., Indian Jewellery, V&A Publishing, 2008.