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Silver Groomâs Crown (Umlakh)

Silver Groom’s Crown (Umlakh)

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Pre 1920: Item # 1232940
galerie Cecile Kerner
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19,rue Lebeau Brussels 1000

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Solid silver crowns comprising a series of hinged panels such as the example here were worn around the forehead by the groom during the wedding ceremony in the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Untracht (1997, p. 166) argues that such crowns might have been inspired by those sometimes depicted as being worn by Hindu deities or by the multi-unit crowns worn by Tibetan tantric priests. According to Untracht, they were owned by goldsmiths, bankers and moneylenders who rented them out for weddings. The crown here comprises five repoussed silver panels hinged together and with double chains suspended beneath. Each panel is decorated with a deity seated within floral and leafy borders. The gods most likely are Ganesha, Shiva, Karttikeya, Lakshmi and Kali. the three firstdeities are seated on a lotus flower other than lakshmi on the right right is seated on an animal skin.and kali seated on a lion. Each panel is further decorated by a solid-cast leaf finial, as are the hinged between each panel. The two panels on either end have two silver lugs or hoops on their reverse outer edges, which were used to secure the crown to the head. References: Untracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.