Pair of Kerala earrings

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1880
  • Geography

    Travancore, Kerala state, India
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W: 9.2 x 5.9 cm (3 5/8 x 2 5/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    A pair of gold earrings, each consisting of a hollow angular loop extending into a pyramidical form. They are constructed of pieces of sheet metal soldered together over a core of unknown material. The earrings are finely decorated with diamond shapes, ridges, spheres, wire circles and other curvilinear shapes. The elaborate surface decoration is attached with solder.
  • Provenance

    Mallett at Bourdon House Limited (J. S. Yorke), London, England, method of acquisition unknown [1]
    From 1990
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Mallett at Bourdon House Limited [2]
    [1] See Mallett at Bourdon House “Statement” to the Freer Gallery of Art, dated March 30, 1990, copy in object file. Object is listed under invoice number BH19378, originally issued on January 29, 1990.
    Mr. J. S. Yorke, the Director of Mallet at Bourdon House Limited, shipped the earrings to his friend Giles Hutchinson-Smith of Fleming and Meers, Antique Dealers, located at Hamilton Court, 1228 31st St NW in Washington, DC. See letter from J. S. Yorke, Director, Mallett at Bourdon House Limited, to Carol Bolon, Curator, dated January 4, 1990, copy in object file. Giles Hutchinson-Smith then hand delivered the earring to the Freer Gallery of Art on January 8, 1990. See letter from Bruce Young, Registrar, to J. S. Yorke, dated January 8, 1990, copy in object file.
    Mallett at Bourdon House Limited was a dealer in Mayfair neighborhood of London. Established in 1962, Mallett at Bourdon House was associated with Mallett & Son Antiques (1865-2017) in London. Mallett at Bourdon House specialized in antique furniture, fine art, and accessories from Europe; however, they also sold Chinese ceramics, Chinese and Japanese lacquer, and Indian jewelry. The business closed in 2007 and some of the remaining stock was sold at Sotheby’s in March 2007.
    [2] See Freer Gallery of Art “Acquisition Consideration Form,” approved on March 21, 1990, copy in object file.
    Research updated March 8, 2023
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    South and South East Asian Art (May 9, 1993 to February 7, 2000)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Mallett at Bourdon House Limited (1962-2007)
  • Origin

    Travancore, Kerala state, India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

    Jewelry and Ornament
  • Restrictions and Rights

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