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Object Description

From Sumatra, Indonesia

Length of individual ornaments 17 cm width 16 cm ( 6.75 x 6.5 in )

Made from silver coins which were melted down, these ear ornaments are exceptional in both their size and the way in which they are worn which is in opposite directions. On the left side of the head it is threaded through the upper part of the ear with the spirals directed upwards or to the rear and supported by a headscarf whereas on the right the spirals are directed forwards or downwards and are often supported by the headscarf alone. A small removable section at the top of the loop allows the silver to be threaded through the ear.

The padung padung are just one part of a complex set of jewellery worn for the marriage ceremony and although the reason for the unique way in which this jewellery is worn is not widely known it has been reported by Susan Rodgers* that it symbolises the ups and downs of the marriage relationship.

Object Literature

A World of Earrings Africa, Asia, America (The Ghysels Collection) by Anne van Cutsem pub. 2001 Milan, Italy
The Batak: Peoples of the Island of Sumatra by Achim Sibeth pub.1991 (illus. p.186 fig 253)
*Power and Gold: Jewellery from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines by Susan Rodgers pub. Munich 1988 Prestel-Verlag

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)7831 633886

Dealer Location

London, UK

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