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Lot 62c, Auction 12/5/2017: 19th C. Indian Tamil Nadu 22K Gold Earring - 31.2 grams

South India, Tamil Nadu Region, ca. 19th century CE. This gold earring hinges open and has an abstract, geometric style that shows a cobra wearing a protective jewel and laying an egg. Earrings of this type are called "Thandatti" because they represent the three levels of our world - the terrestrial, astral, and divine. They would have been worn by women in the Tamil Nadu region, which is the southeastern tip of India closest to Sri Lanka. Size: 1.7" W x 2.25" H (4.3 cm x 5.7 cm); 1.1 oz (31.2 g)

They are made of sheet gold filled with lac and are meant to represent an egg-laying cobra. Extensive iconography exists regarding these works and would have been given to daughters by their parents before marriage of prestige and as a symbol of fertility. Examples can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, NY, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva, Switzerland.

Condition: Slight wear to surface.

Provenance: Ex-private East Coast USA collection

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