Pair of Kerala earrings

Historical period(s)
ca. 1880
H x W: 9.2 x 5.9 cm (3 5/8 x 2 5/16 in)
India, Kerala state, Travancore
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork


Provenance research underway.

Hollow earrings such as these, in which a loop links a pyramidal form that resembles a faceted stone, are constructed of soldered sheet metal. They are elaborately decorated with applied bead and wire designs of floral, diamond, linear, spiral, and other geometrical forms. Such earrings are typically worn by Muslim women in the southern state of Kerala along the west coast of India.

Published References
  • Dr. Carol R. Bolon, Amita Sarin. Metaphors in Gold: The Jewelry of India. vol. 6, no. 4 New York, Fall 1993. pp. 28-30, fig. 13.
  • Feldman Hapsburg. Gold: Important Ancient and Ethnic Jewellery. Geneva. cat. 39, pp. 34-35.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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