We've been visiting South India a lot over the past ten days and finding the essence of it through ornaments that we reimagined from splendid traditions (Vallam-Kalli), actual antique men's jewelle...
We've been visiting South India a lot over the past ten days and finding the essence of it through ornaments that we reimagined from splendid traditions (Vallam-Kalli), actual antique men's jewellery (GowriShankaram) we discovered with Bonhams in London, and then that fabulous haul of jewels we revealed to you in the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva.
The first was a Kerala-inspired goyna while the next came from the rich Chettiar merchants of Tamil Nadu and the last was a heady mixture of rare antique jewels. Time now to salute an Andhra delight (which, of course, is an abiding tradition in all the Southern states) that traces its origin to the Vedic period and is a direct descendant of the 'Nishka' necklace made of metallic currency in prevalence during that ancient era. In fact, in Hymn 33 of Mandala II of the Rigveda, there's mention of the god Rudra as wearing a 'Nishka' and it's lovingly termed 'visva-rupa' ostensibly because of the numerous figures embossed on the coins of the necklace.
So, here's a significant slice of history, brought to you by us by way of this KasulaPeru (line of coins) that's faithful to the Andhra Pradesh style but detailed in our very own way. It's simple –– a festoon of eighteen overlapping Lakshmi coins comes from each side to merge in the centre into a 'sun' pendant in the form of a Lakshmi-Ganesh medallion framed by radiating orbs.
Each of the coins is surmounted by a sat-karai roundel affixed to a rigid karai-ball and the units are fused each to the other so that there is just one shape the necklace can take. This must be remembered when ordering it.
Also, be aware that the length of this jewel is related to age so you might want to be careful about how long you want it : a grandmother length for a bride could be odd unless, of course, the grandmother is the bride.
Though the KasulaPeru is an indigenous style of jewellery of rich heritage that harks back to the Ikshvaku dynasty of Pratipalapura, you don't have to bear the burden of such hoary esoteric history when you wear it. Imagining yourself as one of the ornamented courtly ladies, or even the queen, in any of the Amaravati relief panels where the jewel features time and time again, however, might give you a perspective of the regal provenance of this glorious, handmade guinea gold necklace.
We've stepped into a wholly different world today. What better and more auspicious way to do that than to keep Lakshmi with you, within you, close to your heart; and which more fitting precious jewel to accomplish that with than the refulgent Visva-Rupa KasulaPeru.