Look at the grandeur of this neckpiece!!
At Aham, one of our favourite forms of neckpiece is the Hasli. Also called Hansuli. Our search for vintage museum Hasli pieces lead us to this grand neckpiece from Nepal. And we had to share it with our readers.
The sheer size, the work detailing, the craftsmanship is breathtaking. The piece is crafted in gilded copper with semi precious stone settings.
This is the neckpiece of King Pratapamalla (r. 1641–74), ruler of the Malla dynasty of Nepal, It is believed that this ornament may have been given by King Pratapamalla to Taleju Bhavani, the revered patron goddess of the old palace in Kathmandu and the chief protective deity of Nepal and its royal family.
King Pratapamalla may also have worn this collar when he participated in rituals.
The neckpiece bears the inscription:
“Victory to the Mother-Goddess [Bhagavati devi Janani]. Hail! [This] is the necklace of the king of kings, lord of kings, lord of the poets, the victorious Pratapamalladeva (may it be) auspicious!”
This complex piece is composed of five principal strands
The two innermost strands resemble rudraksha beads, made from the seeds of a large evergreen tree whose berries are commonly made into prayer mala of 108 beads. Such prayer beads are most often worn by Shaivite ascetics, either around the neck or woven into their topknots.
The third and fourth strands consist of tubular forms in a crescent shape known as hansuli. Each terminates in elaborate clasps, with the inner strand attached to a central amulet case.
The outermost ring contains thirteen images of deities, including roundels of the eight mothers (Ashtamatrikas), each depicted as the goddess Durga slaying the buffalo demon (Mahishasura).
As this necklace was a royal commission, the finest Newari artists would have handcrafted it.
- Title : Necklace Inscribed with the Name of King Pratapamalladeva
- Year : 1645–1655
- Classification : Cultural Objects/Jewellery
- Medium : Gilt copper with semiprecious stones
- Dimension : 36.2 × 35.6 × 8.9 cm (14 1/4 × 14 × 3 1/2 in.)
- Accession No : Reference Number 2010.575
- Country/ Geo-location : Nepal, Kathmandu Valley
- Museum : The Art Institute of Chicago
- Credit Line : Gift of the Alsdorf Foundation
- Status : On View Asian Art, Gallery 141