A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)Tamil Nadu, 19th Century, with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac. Approx. 62cm long
Lot 304
A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam) Tamil Nadu, 19th Century
Sold for £85,250 (US$ 143,142) inc. premium
Auction Details
A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)Tamil Nadu, 19th Century, with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac. Approx. 62cm long A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)Tamil Nadu, 19th Century, with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac. Approx. 62cm long A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)Tamil Nadu, 19th Century, with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac. Approx. 62cm long A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)Tamil Nadu, 19th Century, with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac. Approx. 62cm long A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)Tamil Nadu, 19th Century, with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac. Approx. 62cm long A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)Tamil Nadu, 19th Century, with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac. Approx. 62cm long
Lot Details
A ruby, emerald and pearl-set repousse gold Hair Braid Ornament (Jadai Nagam)
Tamil Nadu, 19th Century
with five-headed cobra fitting to top, sheet gold, filled with lac
62 cm. long approx.

Footnotes

  • On festive occasions, women in South India sometimes wear long linked ornaments (jadai nagam) over the lengths of their braids depicting cobras to symbolize fertility and sexuality. They also play on a commom poetic conceit equating women's braids with snakes and associations of wealth and fertility. The top of the jadai nagam is shaped like a multi-headed cobra, the snake sheltering the deity Shiva and his consort Parvati. The style and refinement of the piece point to a royal Madurai workshop, however there is another similar piece in a temple treasury in Mysore, Karnataka (Nanda Gopal and Iyengar, Temple Treasures, Crafts Council of Karnataka, 1995, cat no. 87).
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  1. Oliver White
    Specialist - Islamic and Indian Art
    Bonhams
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