1600s or 1700s
Part of a set. See all set records
Repousse gold with pearls
Overall: 3.7 cm (1 7/16 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1915.346.2
Vishnu and Garuda are solar deities, and they sit on the crescent moon, so the light of both celestial bodies shines from these earrings.
In Nepal, sculptures of deities were adorned with jewelry larger than pieces made for human beings. This pair of earrings features the Hindu god Vishnu seated cross-legged riding his mount the man-eagle Garuda. Garuda's arms are outstretched, grabbing the tails of serpents whose braided bodies snake up both sides of each earring. His wings drape like a cape behind him, and his talons clutch his crescent moon perch. Serpent hoods rise up behind Vishnu like a canopy.
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