South India, possibly Arcot
gold, set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds in gold kundan, with pendant green glass drop
13.6 x 4.8cm (sarpech); 6.4 x 9cm (sarpatti);
10.6cm (length, pin)
The ornament is in three pieces, a sarpech, a sarpatti and a pin. The sarpech follows the conventional form of an openwork plume surmounting a rosette, while the form of the plume, which curves to the left, is characteristic of the late 18th century. At its tip is a stylized motif set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds, which can be read as a head of a lion-monster, particularly on the reverse, which has lightly engraved lines suggesting an eye, ear and snout. The reverse is otherwise undecorated but has been lightly engraved below with a three-character owner’s mark. A vertical sleeve and three gold straps have been soldered to the reverse of the rosette.
The sarpatti is lenticular in form with a central rosette. The tips have projecting polyhedral loops for attachment. The reverse is undecorated.
The pin is divided into two parts by a boss set with a band of cabochon rubies. The upper part has an anticlockwise screw thread and the lower is a slightly tapering rod terminating in a bud-like finial.
P. Moura Carvalho, Gems and Jewels of Mughal India. Jewelled and enamelled objects from the 16th to 20th centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVIII, London 2010, cat., p.182.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.453, p.375.