Antique Sri Lanka Solid Silver Necklace, Kandy, Sinhalese, 22ct Gilt, Filigree,56 cm (22″), 124 Grams
The jewellery of Sri Lanka constitutes a distinctive subgroup within the context of Indian ornamentation.
Quote: "The eclecticism and technical virtuosity shown in the jewellery of the regions are simply inconceivable. Is it not said that Sri Lanka is "the tear of India"? The granulation and filigree attain perfection in this beautifully wrought necklace".
This is a 19th or early 20th century, solid silver, originally gilded necklace from Sri Lanka, (formerly Ceylon) and from the old capital city of Kandy in the island's central highlands.
The central focal crescent shaped section of this Sinhalese necklace has six sides defined by a rows of very fine silver twisted wire. It is decorated with very fine filigree, silver granulation and platted silver wire (the same design on all six sides).
It has fine herringbone plaited, gilded, 5 mm rope chain (38 cm - 15"). The central crescent measures 20 cm (8"). Total length of the necklace 56 cm (22").
There are four round open end gilded filigree cage beads, and four very fine gilded granulated bicone beads on the chain.
The necklace unlocks at one end of the crescent with a screw through the last bead extension makes it almost invisible. The other screw is now fixed - probably a later mending. The necklace is supple and not rigid.
The necklace is in excellent condition with loss of the gilding on the crescent and chain and some heavy silver tarnish on the crescent. It has recently been professionally cleaned.
My gold testing kit indicated that the gilding was 22 ct gold.
This type of Sri Lankan necklace is very hard to find today - and I have only seen Museum examples.
Weight: 124 Grams (4.37 oz.)
Centre Crescent Width: 2 cm (3/4")
Round Cage Beads: 2 cm x 1.8 cm
Bicone Beads: 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm
Necklace Length: 56 cm (22")