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Chettinad, South India, 19th century
Acc. No. 89.1015
The necklace (kaluthiru) is made up of three claw-like pendants strung on a cord with round and tubular beads. It weighs an impressive 597.7 gms.
The kaluthiru &ndash the name derived from kaluthu meaning neck and uru meaning bead is the marriage necklace of the Nattukottai Chettiar community of Tamil Nadu. The claw-like pendants are believed to be modelled on shell forms or the paws of a tiger. Embellished with pyramidal architectural forms, wire work and beautifully crafted open work decoration, the three pendants are strung with fourteen gadrooned beads, eight cylindrical beads with fine granulation work and two elongated rectangular beads at the end that are decorated with wire and granules.