Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal
In Tibet and Nepal gold jewelry has always been rare, a luxury reserved for the wealthy and powerful. Jewelry reflected not only the owner's personal wealth, but also social and political status - frequently, promotion in rank entailed promotion in jewelry, both for male government officials and their wives. Himalayan jewelry also conveys ancient cultural values and, particularly in its form as an amulet box, it serves a powerful talismanic function. In the great religious traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism, gems and jewels - connoting preciousness, rarity and supreme refinement - often served as metaphors for ideals of the faith, and Himalayan deities were magnificently adorned with crowns and earrings, armlets and anklets, and lavish necklaces. Through a lack of archaeological and literary evidence, as well as recent political upheaval, Himalayan jewelry has never been systematically studied, much of the information on the subject being derived from accounts of Western travellers or Tibetans in exile. Now, Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal offers an overview of the subject, exploring how jewelry was defined and appreciated in the Himalayan region, its materials and manufacture and its social and symbolic functions. Illustrated with some of the finest examples of gold jewelry produced in the region in recent centuries - from elaborately designed turquoise earrings to gem-encrusted amulet boxes - this fascinating book offers a rare insight into ancient traditions. With 110 illustrations, 100 in colour.
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