Art/ Collection/ Art Object


18th–19th century
Attributed to India, Punjab or Rajasthan
Gold, diamonds, rubies, and imitation emeralds (colorless rock crystal over green foil) and pearls
W (central pendant): 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
Credit Line:
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1915
Accession Number:
Not on view
Pictorial representations and literary accounts of jewelry from the Mughal era abound, for the wearing and appreciation of jewels and gems was considered an art in itself. The memoirs of Jahangir, for instance, record his decisions to wear certain pearls or rubies for important occasions, but the practice was not limited to royalty alone—travelers to India noted the quantity of jewelry worn by all members of society. Because very few of these pieces survive, most seventeenth-century jewelry is known only from paintings and written descriptions; extant pieces from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are much more numerous. This particular necklace, composed of diamonds, rubies, pearls, and imitation emeralds set in gold, might represent work for a new class of patrons, the British in India.
Inscription: The backs of the disks are shaped like coins and bear Arabic inscriptions.

Marking: The backs of the ornament and pendant bear a scratched leaf design.
Lockwood de Forest (American), New York (until 1915; sold to MMA)
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 107.

Greenwich, CT. Bruce Museum. "Unearthing the Allure of Gems," April 26, 2003–September 7, 2003, not in catalogue.

Untracht, Oppi. India: A Jewelry Spectrum. New York: Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, 1998. no. 363, pp. 54, 61, ill. p. 54 (color).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 136, pp. 316-317, ill. p. 317 (b/w).

Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn, and Manuel Keene. Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983. no. 57, pp. 112-113, ill. (color).

Metropolitan Jewelry. 1991. p. 16, ill. (color).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 107, pp. 258-259, ill. p. 259 (b/w).

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