Antique Himachal Pradesh Necklace, Silver Enamel Gau Box, 66cm (26″) Silver Chain, 226 Grams
This is an antique (19th century) large pendant from, Himachal Pradesh, a northern India state in the Himalayas.
The silver hexagonal Gau prayer box is decorated with the traditional blue and green enamels favoured by Kangra enamelists. It still keeps most of the blue and green enamels.
The front two rows of pierced repousse borders are surrounded by decorated floral designs and an open lotus bloom for the center. The Gau prayer box is approximately 2cm (3/4") deep and is missing the Gau backing plate.
It has four sets of dangles on chains that are about 3.5cm (1 1/2") long of the silver leaf forms (pipal Patti). It appears there was once a set of dangles hanging from the bottom center.
The Gau prayer hangs suspended from a long traditional high grade silver (80-90%) double chain. The chain is 66cm (26") long. The Gau box pendant, including the bale is 19 cm (7 1/2") long with the silver dangles.
"The jewellers of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu were famous for their silver jewellery skills. Kangra was the kingdom of Rajput in earlier days. They mainly worked with silver enamelling skills. Deep blue and green colours were used frequently in their enamellings. Many ornamental designs found in an Indian origin are mingled with Tibet designs, and various jewellery motifs are inhaled by the nature such as a lotus flower, pipal tree leaves."
I have silver tested several parts - as the silver content varies. The Chain, Bale, Bells and Gau Sides are approx. 80-90%, the front sheet of the Gau- 92.5% approx. while the silver beading border and the bale extension is low grade silver.
Width: 15 cm (6")
Height: 19 cm (7 1/2")
Silver Chain: 66 cm (26")
Weight: 226 Grams (8 oz.)