A ruby, emerald and pearl-set lingam, Bonhams Indian and Islamic Art Sale, London, Lot 298/Sale 21359

This is a rare example of south Indian temple jewellery; such embellishments would have been used to adorn temple deities on festive occasions. The lingam is one of the most ancient religious symbols; the most common form seen in Indian representations is the lingam set in a yoni. In this silver version the large cobra head and ringed base representing the coils with scale detail, surmounting a gold yoni and lingam, with three suspended elements below is a typical element of Tamil ritual jewellery.

Date/Period
19th century
Region
South India
Dimension
Object size: 10.0 x 7.8 x 5.9 cm
Accession No.
2014-00428
Material
Silver and emerald
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre
Category
Gold