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Gilded Silver Mango Necklace
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
length: 53cm, weight: 162g
This beautiful and well-made necklace is of gilded (gold-plated) silver. Made in India, most likely in Bombay, it is both Indian in style (with South Indian
influence) but also appears to reflect the Etruscan revival underway in Victorian England when, in the second half of the 19th century, archaeologists made
large discoveries of intricate gold jewellery in their excavations of Etruscan tombs in Italy. The jewellery of the day began to reflect the styles of the jewellery
that was newly unearthed.
The necklace comprises dozens of separate mangoes, each topped by a leafy flourish and a single mango blossom. These are all linked by means of eyelets
Mangoes in India, with their luscious, fleshy form, have strong associations with fertility. Jewellery associated with traditional weddings and brides often
incorporated mango motifs.
The necklace closes with a screw that turns clockwise in the early Indian manner rather than the European anti-clockwise manner. There are two
screw-closure points, which allows the necklace to be converted into a smaller necklace (length: 33cm) and a matching bracelet (20cm).
The necklace has a good weight. The quality of the workmanship is evident in how it sits perfectly flat about the neck when worn. The gilding has few losses
but has taken on a fine patina. Overall, this is a fine and arresting necklace. It is stable and highly wearable.
Bala Krishnan, U.R., & M.S. Kumar, Dance of the Peacock: Jewellery Traditions of India, India Book House Ltd, 1999.
Provenance: UK art market
Inventory no.: 2789
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