Braid ornament (choti)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    late 19th-early 20th century
  • Geography

    Tamil Nadu state, India
  • Material

    Gold, silver, cotton, and rubies
  • Dimension

    H x W (overall): 40.5 x 10.1 cm (15 15/16 x 4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    This long, tapering gold braid ornament is composed of 15 segments, the last being a small crab or fish-like piece. The first segment has a repousse depiction of Krishna playing the flute and dancing under the canopy of a multi-hooded serpent. Each of the succeeding 13 segments are composed of double gold leaves in which a floral medallion with a red glass center nestles. Each of the flowers is composed of different design elements. However, the row of gradually diminishing circles form a handsome "spine" for this braid ornament.
    The ornament is made of gold sheet with chased and repousse decoration. A soft filling of lac is backed with silver sheet. Black cords passing through the three silver loops soldered to the back of each section hold the sections together.
  • Provenance

    François Rabier, Brussels, Belgium, method of acquisition unknown [1]
    From 1991
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from François Rabier [2]
    [1] See invoice from François Rabier to the Freer Gallery of Art, dated November 19, 1990, copy in object file.
    François Rabier is a dealer in Brussels, Belgium that has been active in Brussels since in the 1980s and specializes in sculpture, jewelry, and other three-dimensional objects from Africa and Asia, including China, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Rabier exhibits and sells objects in his gallery and through auctions, including online auctions. He has also previously participated in the art fair BRUNEAF (BRUssels Non-European Art Fair). He has operated under the names Dominique and François Rabier, Brussels, and François Rabier Asian & Tribal Art, Brussels.
    [2] See Freer Gallery of Art “Acquisition Consideration Form,” marked approved on April 25, 1991, copy in object file.
    Research updated March 1, 2023
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Body Image (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Gold: The Asian Touch (September 10, 2005 to February 20, 2006)
    South and South East Asian Art (May 9, 1993 to February 7, 2000)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    François Rabier
  • Origin

    Tamil Nadu state, India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

    Jewelry and Ornament
  • On View

    Freer Gallery 01: Body Image: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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