Each of this pair of ear ornaments comprises a slender body of silver, ‘pearled’ silver wire and applied silver granulation work, with a small coral bead and an unusually large coral bead. The upper sections comprise a wide silver loop, set with an oval silver plaque surmounted by a trefoil section all set with turquoise cabochon chips.
Each terminates with silver loops from which further chains and other elements could be suspended.
The top loop of each allowed the ear ornament to be suspended from other earrings, or a headdress, or to thin textile strips that would go over the top of the ear to allow the weight of the ornament to be supported.
Ear ornaments such as these were worn in Tibet singularly by men, or as a pair by women.
See Clarke (2004, p. 74 and 93) and Reynolds (1978, p. 31) for examples. Casey Singer (1996, p. 103) illustrates related gold examples.
Ganguly (2007, p. 150) points out that similar silver examples also were worn in Ladakh.
Overall, the ear ornaments here are in good condition with no repairs or losses. Their age is very apparent.
Casey Singer, J., Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal, Thames & Hudson, 1996.
Clarke, J., Jewellery of Tibet and the Himalayas, V&A Publications, 2004.
Ganguly, W., Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India, B.R. Publishing Corporation, 2007.
Reynolds, V., Tibet: A Lost World: The Newark Museum Collection of Tibetan Art and Ethnology, The American Federation of Arts, 1978.