The necklace consists of two parts : the main body of the ornament and the loop-chains – its essential but humble and less projected part that holds the ornament on the neck. The chains appended on both sides of the necklace’s main body for holding it, consist of tiny delicate rings and as delicately cast connectors. One of the chains has a hook to lock the two parts and thus hold the ornament on the neck. The main body consists of the repeats of four interlocking units : two of them, the vertical loops or brackets, one – a fuller length, rising over a ring and a pot motif, while the other, a similarly designed loop of the half of the size of the former but unlike the former this half loop’s top and bottom are adorned with cute tiny balls, two each on either side. Of the other only the top is adorned with such balls while the bottom consists of ring and pot motifs. The other two units are variously designed riding loops : one, a rider with a square face consisting of nine mounds, and the other, a pair of diagonally opposed elephant trunks. Except the half loop-brackets which are twenty-four, the necklace consists of twenty-three repeats of these units.
Delicately cast and uniform as die-stamped, each design motif that this necklace comprises must have evolved out of one or the other of the time-honoured auspicious conventions and various practices – ritual and social. Hence its every part shares with past some kind of symbolic significance and thrust and thus the necklace emerges as a strange blend of tradition and modernism: a visual thing with its every part entwined with an inherent meaning. The foremost of them is the pot motif contained in the ring : a ball-shaped formation with a flower atop, more like a tiny Maulashri flower. This style of the pot is often defined in the tradition as Purna-ghata – an accomplished pot, the timeless symbol of auspiciousness, fertility, abundance, riches and accomplishment. In Indian tradition no ritual shall accomplish unless the Purna-ghata is consecrated. Widely alluded to in various scriptures the ever green Maulashri, a huge tree with tiny but exceptionally fragrant flowers, is itself a sacred tree worshipped as part of many social rites. The square with nine mounds, symbolic of nine planets that govern the course of human life – the Navagrahas, represents the Navagraha-yantra considered highly potent in balancing the effect of Grahas – planets. The elephant trunk is the micro-miniaturised symbol of Ganesha, the Lord of Auspiciousness and Good.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books. .
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