Each earring is composed of two rectangular, budlike forms, growing outward from a central, double-stemmed tendril. They have fine granulation and are beautifully executed.
The elephant and the lion of repoussé gold are consummately detailed, using granules, snippets of wire and sheet, and individually forged and hammered pieces of gold.
The two pieces are not exactly identical: On the underside they are both decorated with a classical early Indian design of a vase containing three palmettes, but the patterning of the fronds differentiates the two earrings.
They are so large and heavy that they must have distended the earlobes and rested on the shoulders of the wearer, like the pair worn by the ruler: Chakravartin.
Gems and gold
Sri Lanka may have been called Ratnadvipa, but India truly can claim a tradition of jewellery making that goes back to the beginning of time.
So what is the Indian aesthetic?
It is a desire for beauty in ornamentation. It is the ability to bend and coax gold and gems to suit pretty much every part of the body.
The Indian aesthetic is pervasive.
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