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Catalog Data

Gold, double rudraksha seeds, silver, diamonds and rubies
H x W (overall): 10.6 x 6.8 cm (4 3/16 x 2 11/16 in)
Jewelry and Ornament
Tamil Nadu state, India
late 19th-early 20th century
This is a garland of twin berries from the rudraksha (Eleocarpus ganitrus) tree, sacred to Shaivas. Each strand is made of twelve graduated double-berries on a silver chain separated by gold bands. On the clasp at the top of the necklace, within a foliate design, is a tiny figure of a seated goddess who must be Parvati.
An elaborately decorated gold pendant casket with a shape reminiscent of a Dravidian temple (Brijbhushan) is suspended from the necklace. It may also represent a twin rudraksha bead symbolizing Shiva and his consort—Gauri-Shankar (Jain). The pendant is decorated with a series of lingas on altars, a band of rubies and diamonds and a double-bodied couchant bull, undoubtedly representing Shiva's vehicle, Nandi. The pendant contains a paste, now dried, which is probably tikka paste. Above the pendant is a woman worshipping a linga on an altar protected by a serpent's hood beneath a tree, all in gold. Above this, at the base of either strand of the necklace, is a bull.
Lilla Mankor, method of acquisition unknown [1]
Unidentified individual, method of acquisition unknown [2]
Donald J. Wineman, New York, NY, purchased from Unidentified individual [3]
From 1990
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Donald J. Wineman [4]
[1] In a brief letter to Milo Beach, Director, Donald J. Wineman says, “I have been able to get a provenance on the Indian necklace from the person I purchased it from. It was brought to the United States in the 1960s by an Indian woman living in Bombay [(now Mumbai)] by the name of Lilla Mankor. She was a collector of Indian art and came here to be with her son who, at that time was a scientist living in the Midwest.” See letter from Donald J. Wineman to Milo Beach, dated May 21, 1990, copy in object file. The letter is typed on “Donald J. Wineman [/] Fine Asian Art” letterhead.
[2] See note 1.
[3] See note 1.
Donald J. Wineman (David J. Wineman Fine Asian Art) was collector and private dealer of Asian art in New York, NY during the mid-1970s and early 1990s. Wineman specialized in Chinese, Japanese, South Asian, and Southeast Asian art. Specifically prints; paintings; and three-dimensional objects (sculptures, containers, vessels, and implements) in ceramic, stone, and metal, or that utilize lacquerware and cloisonné techniques. Wineman’s clients included private collector, including Florence and Herbert Irving. He was successful in placing objects with institutions such as The British Museum and Library, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Yale University Art Gallery. In 1987, Wineman married the private dealer Susan B. Levinson (d. 1987), however, Levinson passed away later that year. In late 1986 the couple were displaying and selling objects in Levinson’s apartment at 12 East 86th Street in New York, NY. The couple also jointly operated under the name Susan B. Levinson & Donald J. Wineman Fine Asian Antiques and Antiquities, New York.
[4] See invoice from Donald J. Wineman to the Freer Gallery of Art, dated June 30, 1990, copy in object file. See Freer Gallery of Art “Acquisition Consideration Form,” approved on September 28, 1990, copy in object file.
Research updated February 28, 2023
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Exhibition History:
Body Image (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas (October 16, 2004 to January 3, 2016)
South and South East Asian Art (May 9, 1993 to February 7, 2000)
Previous custodian or owner:
Lilla Mankor
Donald J. Wineman
Nandi  Search this
Parvati  Search this
Shiva  Search this
India  Search this
South Asian and Himalayan Art  Search this
Credit Line:
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
On View:
Freer Gallery 01: Body Image: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery