This object is eligible for a Certificate of BADA Provenance

A Pair of South Indian Tamil Nadu Silver 'Vanki' Upper Arm Ornaments Decorated With Images of Krishna Amidst Fantastical Peacocks and Scrolling Foliage

19th Century


12cm high, 6.5cm wide, 8cm deep - 4¾ ins high, 2½ ins wide, 3 ins deep 

Stone sculptures from the 12th century demonstrate the continuity of the ancient forms of jewellery made in the South of India. Temple dancing girls known as ‘Devadasis’ wear elaborate ornamented upper arm bracelets and large discal earrings, whilst a 17th century ivory in the Spirangam temple museum of Tirumala Nayak and his queen from Thanjavor in Tamil Nadu shows the style of the jewellery, and specifically the upper arm bracelet, had changed little over the centuries.
     The two heavy continuous ‘V’ shaped sections are of a special type to Tamil Nadu and are called ‘Vanki’. Worn above the elbow they appear in an 18th century painting of Krishna playing the flute. The image from Thanjavor, shows the deity dancing wearing ‘Vanki’ such as these.



12cm high, 6.5cm wide, 8cm deep
By appointment only