Five strands of stepped kamal-ball chains with guinea plaques in the centre of each forming a vertical phalanx of wire-framed sovereigns such as would rarely be seen in today's times. Each of the t...
Five strands of stepped kamal-ball chains with guinea plaques in the centre of each forming a vertical phalanx of wire-framed sovereigns such as would rarely be seen in today's times. Each of the traditional ekka-wire surrounds are different and three of them are made using 'pokrano tar', you know the kind that's roughened at the edges by rubbing the round wires on original 78rpm records to fray the sides. It's a rare art of serrated single-wire filigree, scarcely practiced nowadays (this karigar, though a chain and wire-work expert, had to take a long tutorial and then practice hard to get it right, and what's been used is a splendid example of beginner's luck), and gives the wires a twisted effect without actually turning them so that the slight imperfections add marvellous variation to the chhela-tar alongside.
But who's Bourani? And why has an obviously new necklace been given so . . . er . . . sweetly old-fashioned a name? Is there some history, or even mystery, behind it?
Then again, remember, the title says its DoRokha, meaning two-sided, or, in an easier term, reversible. What's on the other side that makes it vastly different from what we see so that when worn either way they appear to be altogether separate ornaments? And the sovereigns? If we turn the necklace around, do we get to see the back of the coins with St.George and the Dragon on them in that heroic pose ----- not a nice thought that, more so due to the fact that he was said to have forcefully converted the people of the town, in which his story's set, to Christianity before slaying the dragon!
Not all can be revealed here. Suffice it to say that the Paanch-Lahari Guinea Har holds its secrets close to its heart.
Wrought by hand in a devotedly careful and caring way so that the fall of the chains is perfect and the wire-work of stellar quality, harking back to the '30s when such ekka-karigari came of its own as a 'new wave' of Bengali precious-metal workmanship, this necklace of regal bearing is a bespoke design and manufacture for a lady who's, in every sense of the term, a modern Rani. Needless to say, she lives abroad, for it seems to be in the hands of those who stay in distant and foreign lands to cherish and appreciate and uphold the craft traditions of our great country.
As such, this 'guinea-har' comes as a splendid gift for all lovers of Indian gold jewellery and Bengali artisanship who will acknowledge the utter sublimity of its form and design and admire the time and labour accorded to the level of finish given an ornament to make it truly memorable. It goes without saying that this is a monumental goyna, a rich but reserved necklace that's a masterclass in aesthetics in the decorative arts, an heirloom jewellery of unequivocal beauty and heritage, and one that'll live forever. As shall she for whom it has been lovingly crafted..