Tiger-Claw necklace

Not on view

Brilliantly colored gemstones and addorsed tiger claws nestle together to form the strikingly shaped pendants of a nineteenth-century Indian necklace. The use of tiger claws as symbols of power and protection is an ancient motif in India, seen also in gold pendants from ninth-century Java and other regions of Asia. Here, their talismanic properties of the necklace are enhanced by the navaratan gem setting (nine auspicious gems, although here, ten, since there are ten sets of claws).

Mughal-style jewelry is replete with this arrangement of colored gems, each relating to a celestial body within traditional astronomical and astrological beliefs. The technique of this necklace is that of kundan, whereby stones are held in place by pure, pressed gold.

Tiger-Claw necklace, Gold, gold beads, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, spinels and tiger claws

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