Monday, January 4, 2016

Earrings, India, 1st Century BCE

Now in the Met:
This exquisite pair of gold earrings is rare in having survived. While splendid jewelry adorns the regal and divine figures represented on early stone sculptures and terracotta plaques, few actual ornaments still exist. It is thought that jewelry was not kept and reused but instead was melted down possibly to avoid transmitting the karma of the former owner. In addition to clusters and rows of beads, each earring is decorated with a winged lion, and elephant and two vases filled with vegetation. Put on by slipping through a distended earlobe from the back, they are worn with the lion facing the wearer's cheek and the elephant on the outside.

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