A guluband necklace




India, Rajasthan (Jaipur)


19th century


Forging, enameling, gem-setting, weaving


Gold, rubies, topazes, spinels, enamels, glass, silk


Length (without cord) 255 mm; width 55 mm

The gold necklace consists of a rosette-shaped central section, twenty-two vertical elements and two triangular terminals connected together by means of two silk strings. All of them are set with precious stones on the obverse side and enameled in polychrome depicting birds, flowers and foliage on the reverse side. The fringe is composed of small leaf-like pendants that alternate with clusters of spinel beads each of which is supplemented with a tiny red-colored glass bead. Total 128 red spinels, 101 white topazes, and 75 rubies. . Additionally, there is a metal-thread cord (sarafa) with a tassel for attaching on the neck.

COMMENT. Guluband is a type of Indian women’s necklace, which tight around the neck. It consists of a many elements that are movably connected by means of one or two silk threads. Traditionally, the guluband includes a larger central element in the form of a stylized rose flower, which is called "gulab" in Hindi and "gul" in Urdu and Persian. The presented necklace is a splendid example of special style of Indian gold jewelry called "mina kundan / meena kundan", in which the traditional gem-setting technique (kundan) is harmoniously combined with enameling (minakari / meenakari). Such jewelry are entirely inlaid with precious stones on one side and enameled with vivid colours on the other. In fact, each of the surfaces can be obverse, because both of them are equally beautiful. Traditional centres of the mina kundan / meena kundan (or kundan mina / kundan meena) are the cities of Jaipur and Bikaner in Rajasthan, therefore it is often referred to as Jaipuri or Bikaneri style.