|Early 20th century, Sri Lanka|
This elegant silver choker necklace is set with dozens of faceted stones known locally in Sri Lanka as Matara diamonds (white zircons). (Matara is a sea port on the south coast of Sri Lanka from where the stones come.) The segments are pieced together along two fine elasticised threads giving the necklace flexibility and allowing it to pull tight when worn. Such jewellery was worn by women in the 'Low Country' regions.
Ceylonese silversmiths and other craftsmen produced items with Portuguese influence during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This necklace is one example, which has parallels with eighteenth century European jewellery, albeit with South Asian motifs: the necklace employs repeated katiri mala flower motifs, for example.
|This necklace is in a stable, wearable condition.|
Work such as this was the basis for the kerosang brooches used by the Straits Chinese and Malay women in Malaysia and Singapore. Kerosang brooches were used in place of buttons to keep blouses closed. Many were produced by expatriate Tamil craftsmen and so often the jewellery of the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore bore similarities in terms of themes and construction with that produced and worn in Ceylon.
A brooch employing similar construction is illustrated in Coomaraswamy (1956, plate XLIX.)
References: Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956. Wimalaratne, K.D.G. & D. Gomes, Costumes of Sri Lanka, 2001.
|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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