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Exquisite 17thC Mysore India 21kt Gold Fanam Earrings $199.99 - SOLD


Two 17th Century Indian Coins, 21kt Gold Fanams from Mysore. Mounted into contemporary high quality 14kt gold fill French hooks.

CLASSIFICATION: Circulated Gold Coins, India, Mid 17th century. Struck During the Reign of the Great Mysore Prince, Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar (1638-1659). Depicts Narasimha, a Half-Man, Half-Lion Manifestation of the Hindu Deity, Lord Vishnu.

ATTRIBUTION: Mysore, India, mid 17th century.

SIZE/DIMENSIONS:

Diameter: Diameter: 5 1/2 x 6 millimeters.

Weight: Weight: 0.38 grams/0.38 grams.

CONDITION: Excellent, lightly circulated.

NOTE: 14kt solid gold settings and other setting styles (euro clicks, lever backs, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles) are available upon request.

DETAIL: These are two genuine gold fanams issued by the ancient Indian City-State of Mysore. Mysore, fabled home of one of India's greatest dynasties, was known as a center of great wealth, and minted a wide variety of coinage in precious metals. Some of the most collectible were the gold fanams of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, truly works of art. Averaging about 21kt gold (21/24th's pure gold), this specimen here is in rather good condition, only lightly circulated. Please note that the image here is a 500% enlargement. The size and weight of this specimen is indicated above.

Narasimha is an incarnation ("avatara") of the Hindu God Vishnu, who takes the form of half-man/half-lion, having a human torso and lower body, but with a lion-like face and claws. He is worshipped by a significant number of Vaishnava groups throughout India (especially in the South) and is primarily known as the 'Great Protector', being a form of Vishnu who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need. There's a wonderful ancient rock statue of Narasimha here. And if you'd like to learn more about the ancient Hindu God Narasimha, you can do so by clicking here.

The Wodeyar dynasty was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947, until the independence of India from British rule and the subsequent unification of British dominions and princely states into the Republic of India. The dynasty was established by Vijaya, a Yadava who by some accounts came to Mysore from Dwaraka while other accounts describe them as natives to the south Karnataka region. Vijaya took on the name Yadu-Raya and ruled Mysore, then a small town, from 1399 to 1423 A.D. The Wodeyars of Vijaya's dynasty belong to the Arasu community of Karnataka, which includes many of the noble clans of the region.

The Mysore kingdom was ruled by a succession of Wodeyar rulers for the next couple of centuries. However, the kingdom remained fairly small during this early period and was a part of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later, after the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565, the Kingdom of Mysore became independent and remained so until 1799. The Kingdom of Mysore came under the British during the reign of King Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1799-1868). His successors changed the English spelling of their royal name to Wadiyar, and took the title of Bahadur. Prince Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar ruled from 1638-1659.

The earring settings are of contemporary origin. They are high quality settings manufactured by one of the USA's leading semi-custom mount producers. They are constructed of 14kt gold fill. They are not cheap, gold electroplated earrings. They are of genuine 14kt gold fill, designed to last a lifetime. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. We can reset into 14kt solid gold upon request, and there are also many other setting styles available upon request including euro clicks, lever backs, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles, etc.

The cities of Northern India's Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, date back at least 5,000, probably 10,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in 12th were followed by European traders beginning in the late 15th century. Although the world's first coins were Greek coins made in Lydia about 640 BC, is seems clear that India and China both invented coins independently within a few centuries of the Lydians, although India officially insists that its first coinage (punch marked issues) were struck in the 8th century B.C. The earliest Indian coins were silver, and it was not until about 100 A.D. that the Kushans, influenced by the Romans, introduced the first Indian gold coin, which was a gold dinar bearing the image of Shiva.

Previously India's "unit of exchange" had been a full grown cow. Coinage presumably developed to make change, something of fractional value which was easier to carry in a pocket. The Suvarna, a gold coin similar to the Persian Daric and Greek Stater substituted the cow in value. Dinara was an Indian gold coin adopted from Roman Dinarius. Silver and bronze metals served for lower value coinage. From the earliest times, the iconography of Northern India's coinage was influenced by other classical cultures including Roman, Greek/Hellenic, and even Alexandrian (Ptolemaic). From the very beginning classical Greek coinage circulated alongside India's earliest punched coinage. India's coinage gained many classical characteristics as a result of the influence of Northern India's Bactrian Greek and early Hellenistic Indo-Greek cultures. Also contributing to the iconography of Indian coin were the Indo-Persian Scythians, Parthians, and Sassianians.

Many Indian states issued small gold coins called Fanams from about the 12th century A.D. onward, peaking in production between about 1700 and 1830 A.D. The later examples, exquisite miniature gold works of art of the 18th and 19th centuries, were struck in various Indian states, where traders preferred gold over silver. Their designs originally had depicted goddesses, animals and artifacts, but were simplified over the centuries to semi-abstract forms. Fanams were the smallest gold coins issued by any of the Indian States. The first references to the fanam are found in Ceylon, in reference to 12th century coinage from the present day Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The most prolific issues of the fanam occurred in Ceylon; and in India, in Mysore and neighboring Cochin. Historically the most significant of these are from Mysore, the only princely kingdom to defy and defeat the fabled British Army during India's pre-colonial history.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept both PayPal and BidPay. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and policies (stated here). We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."