One Good Eye Silver

antique Raj India silver miniatures under glass Bracelet ~ Hanuman

antique Raj India silver miniatures under glass Bracelet ~ Hanuman

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Directory: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1930: Item # 1488076

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I have had this antique Indian Raj bracelet in my collection of unlisted jewelry for quite a while and from time to time, I would take it out and marvel at the miniature paintings that form its links. Colorful, minutely detailed and kept under glass, I think they depict long past scenes of Hanuman Jayanti - the feast and parade to mark the birthday of Lord Hanuman, Indian god of wisdom, strength and devotion. There are no hallmarks or signatures on the bracelet which makes dating it very difficult for me (any insights you might want to share will be greatly appreciated!) but I would suggest that it is at least an early 20th c. creation, if not a bit earlier. The miniatures have been affected by moisture that seeped in through the links' seams but most of them are still readable to the eye except for the one at the "tongue" end of the clasp which is mostly gone. Yet despite the wear one can still see parade elephants drawing elegant carriages, musicians and parasol-carrying celebrants around a tall stele, women preparing food on an open-air hearth and Lord Hanuman's green effigy being carried through the streets on an open litter. I always wondered how long this bracelet's life has been; what has it witnessed in its long history? Measuring 7 3/4" long (wearable) and its width varying between 1 1/8" and 5/8" the bracelet weighs 41.7 grams. It is not signed for maker nor hallmarked for metal quality yet tested and guaranteed to be solid silver, possibly sterling but I can't be sure of that. The only part that does not test as silver is the folded-over segment of the clasp's "tongue". Difficult for me to date with accuracy but I will suggest late 19th to early decades of 20th c.. I have already discussed the condition of the miniatures above in the description so please, refer back to it and look at the photos carefully by also enlarging them. The glass is intact, safely set in its respective bezels with no breaks or dramatic chips and even though it has scratches from use, those are not as visible to the naked eye as they are in the photos. The original vermeil finish has mellowed over the years and is very discretely there now while the silver-work is nicely done and has developed a beautiful patina. A rare and quite impressive old Indian piece of jewelry for your jewelry box!

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