Whistle pendant

DATE:
19th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Cloisonné
CLASSIFICATION:
Jewelry
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 1 5/8 x 1 x 1 in. (4.128 x 2.54 x 2.54 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of Asia
LOCATION:
304 SNAIL GALLERY
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen
OBJECT NUMBER:
1994.46

General Description

Enameled gold jewelry was popular from at least the 16th century onward in north India, and the best-known center of production is Jaipur in the modern state of Rajasthan—from which this whistle probably originates. However, enameled jewelry is also made elsewhere, and Varanasi, famous for its pink enameled hues, is another important source. Enameled gold jewelry was manufactured by a team of workmen that included a designer, a goldsmith, an engraver, an enameler, a polisher, a stone setter, and in some cases a stringer. Enamelers in Jaipur originally came from Lahore, today in modern Pakistan, when Raja Man Singh, an important general in the Mughal court, brought them to his capital in the 16th century. This whistle could have been worn by a man or a woman and underscores the tendency in India to adorn the male and female body with ornament from head to foot.

Adapted from

Catherine Asher, "Whistle pendant," in The Arts of India, South East Asia, and the Himalayas, Anne R. Bromberg (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 142.