Product was successfully added to your shopping cart.

Huge 19th C. Indian Tamil Nadu 22K Gold Earring

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

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all purchases

We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

guaranteed authenticity

in-house shipping

knowledge & experience