|India, mid-19th century|
This beautiful and highly wearable talismanic finger ring of high-grade gold sheet over a lac core is set with the stones of the navaratna in a kundan floral motif setting. Additionally, the band or hoop has been set with fourteen turquoise cabochons, all the way around. The top and bottom of the band is incised with a scrolling or flowing motif.
Among the stones, which are foil-backed, are a yellow topaz to represent Jupiter, a ruby to represent the sun, a coral to represent Mars, a pearl to represent the moon, and a sapphire to represent Saturn.
Untracht (1997, p. 309) says that in Dravidian south India, the navaratna gemstones are used as a rosary but elsewhere in India, they are used as a talismanic device. The nine gems have multiple meanings and associations. One is that each gem represents the nine celestial Hindu deities and the nine 'planets' .
The correct construction of a navaratna ring could take a very long time. Says Untracht (p. 309):
'Before commissioning such a ring from a goldsmith, one first brings the selected stones to a priest, who blesses them. At an auspicious time, they are then given to a goldsmith who will set thing in high-quality gold (22 karat). According to orthodox practice, when the gold setting is ready, each of the stones corresponding to a planet is set in the correct order of priority and position, at a time auspicious for the planet. If this procedure is followed, the process might take more than a year to complete.'
The ring is stable and ready to be worn.
Bala Krishnan, U.R., Jewels of the Nizams, Department of Culture, Government of India, 2001.
Barnard, N., Indian Jewellery, V&A Publishing, 2008.
Untracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.
|Provenance: UK art market|
|Price:||Item has been sold.|
|Offered By:||Items for sale from dealers we worked with previously|
121 Mount Vernon, Boston, MA 02108 USA
Item has been sold.
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