A repoussé gilded Rudraksha bead Necklace (Rudrakshamalai) South India, 19th Century
Lot 234
A repoussé gilded Rudraksha bead Necklace (Rudrakshamalai)
South India, 19th Century
£10,000 - 15,000
US$ 17,000 - 26,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
A repoussé gilded Rudraksha bead Necklace (Rudrakshamalai)
South India, 19th Century
the pendant formed of two large conjoined rudraksha beads with two repoussé gilded mounts above and one below terminating in three finials, on chain with forty eight small rudraksha beads, the clasp set with rubies
31 cm. long; 75 g.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Private English collection.

    The word rudraksha breaks into two: rudra which is another name for Lord Shiva, and aksha, meaning eyes in Sanskrit. According to a Shaivite legend, rudraksha seeds were formed from the tears of Shiva. In order to destroy evil, Shiva went into deep penance for a thousand years. Water from his closed eyes fell to the ground and the trees that sprang up on the spot bore the fruit called rudraksha.

    Rudraksha beads are seeds from the fruit of Elaeocarpus angustifolius, an indigenous tree found in the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal. They are strung on necklaces often used as rosaries and are also believed to have medicinal properties. The segments of the rudraksha bead are thought to represent the faces of Shiva. Rudraksha seeds found in twin or conjoined forms, as seen in the current lot, are considered especially sacred.

    For a discussion on rudraksha beads, see M.E. Aitken, When Gold Blossoms - Indian Jewelry from the Susan L. Beningson Collection, New York, 2004, p. 70.
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