A Pomander Pendant
Goa or Deccan, India
17th Century

A shell shaped pomander pendant with a makara head and birds in gold set with turquoise and a ruby.

The cap of this pendant unscrews and the hinges on the bottom allow it to be opened, revealing a small compartment with traces of a red residue, probably the remains of an aromatic substance.
The cap is in the form of a makara, a fantastical aquatic beast. The two birds flanking the makara are similar to those found on other kinds of Deccani jewellery, especially rings.

The pierced filigree work, with flowers and leaves on a vine, is loosely related to motifs in textiles and manuscript illuminations of the region.

Copyright bar