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Articles of jewelry made in India, known from recorded examples from as early as c. 2500 BC and from finds at Taxila from the 5th century showing Hellenistic and Parthian influence.
The early indigenous pieces reflect Persian influence until the emergence of local styles, especially during the Mughal period. Jewelry was worn profusely by men and women, not only as an ornament but as a status display of invested wealth or often for reasons of superstition. Articles were worn to adorn every part of the body, and many pieces were worn simultaneously.
Gold articles were often made of thin sheet metal beaten over a core of lac or pitch, and are characterized by intricate designs displaying fine workmanship. Many pieces are decorated with granulated gold, filigree work, pearls, large coloured gemstones, and champlevé enamelling.
The polychrome enamelling of Jaipur is renowned but fine enamelling was also done at Delhi, Varanasi (in pink), Lucknow, and Hyderabad. The styles, which varied in the different regions, were generally massive, featuring numerous suspended ornaments and tassels.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson