Antique Sri Lanka Necklace, Mugappu Side Pendant, Silver Fluted Beads, Cobalt Glass Beads, 55cm
A COLLECTOR'S ITEM - RARE
Kandyan jewellery from Sri Lanka is handmade and was designed specifically for the royal families. It carries symbols of wealth, prosperity, grandeur, strength, well-being, solidarity, virtue, passion and valour. It is worn by women of royal or noble birth.
This Sinhalese necklace strand dates from the early to late 19th century and has very rare beads from Kandy, (the old capital city in Sri Lanka's central highlands - formerly Ceylon). The necklace is called a Mugappu side pendant necklace.
The silver centre mugappu clasp is worn just below the right collar bone, so that it is clearly visible over the edge of a sari.
This necklace has 14 hollow (no wax element) high grade silver fluted beads with decorated lips, and also as I have not seen before a ring plate on the end of each lip. They are alternated with 13 cobalt blue cut glass beads. Some of the antique glass beads have tiny chips and the silver fluted beads some slight dents, but overall the condition fine. The design and style of these silver and cut glass beads match each other very well in size and shape.
The silver fluted beads were once gilded as there is still evidence in the folds between the fluted grooves.
The front center mugappu clasp is 7 cm (2 3/4") is beautifully decorated with very fine applied filigree, granulation and silver twisted wire. The necklace unlocks with a screw through the center back and the original locking pin is intact and secures well.
The length of the necklace is 55 cm (21 1/2") long. Some other examples of this necklace are considerably longer. The necklace has been re strung at some stage and is also very secure.
I have dated the necklace from another fine private collector's example, and examples of Sri Lankan cut glass bead necklaces and bracelets in The British Museum and National Museum of Scotland.
Center Clasp Width: 7 cm (2 3/4")
Center Clasp Height; 2.5 cm (1")
Beads Length: 1.7 cm (5/8")
Beads Width: 2 cm (3/4")
Necklace length: 55 cm (21 1/2")
Weight: 180 Grams