Garland of berries

Historical period(s)
late 19th-early 20th century
Medium
Gold, double berries, silver, diamonds and rubies
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 10.6 x 6.8 cm (4 3/16 x 2 11/16 in)
Geography
India, Tamil Nadu state
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1990.8
On View Location
Freer Gallery 01: Body Image: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent
Classification(s)
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork
Type

Jewelry

Keywords
India, Nandi, Parvati, piercing, Shiva, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Label

This sumptuous garland features double rudraksha seeds from the utrasam tree (Eleocarpus ganitrus), sacred to the Hindu god Shiva, alternating with gold spacer beads. Its elaborate clasp contains a tiny figure of the goddess Parvati and the strands terminate in a gold image of the bull Nandi, Shiva's vehicle. A large pendant gold casket, empty today, most likely contained a small portable linga (an abstract symbol of the god Shiva), perhaps of crystal or gold, as well as sacred ashes.

Published References
  • Dr. Carol R. Bolon, Amita Sarin. Metaphors in Gold: The Jewelry of India. vol. 6, no. 4 New York, Fall 1993. pp. 10-12, fig. 1.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.