MASTERPIECE COLLECTION - Not for sale yet
Gold turquoise and glass.
Measurements: At widest part, approximately 7.8 inch (22mm) across.
Weight 11.1 grams.
Exquisite beauty and astonishing workmanship: The earrings follow a hundreds of years old pattern.
The granulation used to make up the clusters of gold in these earrings consists of granules individually applied and traditionally made with 24k gold so that there would be no discoloration due to age/climate. It is known as babul-work. Babul is also a thorn. As can be imagined, this work was exceptionally time consuming and therefore, even in the 19th century, more costly than most jewelry.
The earrings consist of a horse-shoe cylindical hoop with 3 large clusters of granules. They are supposed to immitate the thorns of a holy tree and to have amuletic and protective powers. The granules are wider at their bases and taper as they move out. The cylindrical hoop between the clusters has rings of repousse gold as the only adornment. The front of the earring has a kundan set bright red glass 'gem' set in a square collette. Above it is a hinge that allows the wire to move quite freely. This is topped by a cabochon turquoise, also collette set. Simple loop clasps.
Condition: Good with negligible wear commensurate with age. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
1) For similar pieces see the book on Indian earrings by Waltraud Ganguly - page 114 - 115.
2) A very similar pair, dated 1853 may be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see page 76 of Nick Barnard's book Indian Jewelry).
Estimated to be from the 1800s
Worn traditionally by men of the Bhil tribe
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