Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Sixteen Leaf Necklace, 1880

Necklace or Horse Collar
India, Before 1880
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This handsome necklace heralds from India and was made before 1880. Sixteen leaf-shaped plaques are strung on red silk which has been covered with gold wire.

The front of each plaque is adorned in floral ornament in low relief. The design is decorated with turquoises and rock-crystal set over red foil to simulate rubies. The reverse of each of these sixteen plaques is chased with designs of flowering plants.

The necklace was purchased in India for the Victoria & Albert Museum by Casper Purdon Clarke in 1880-2. It has been suggested that this is not a necklace meant for a human, but rather, was made as a collar for a horse. Lucky horse!

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