Bhutan Koma Brooches in Silver, Gilded, Turquoise


This pair of silver (tested 80% approx.) 10kt gilt Buddhist Symbols Bhutanese dress or cloak fasteners with inset of 5 small turquoise stones in each, known as koma.

This pair have obvious wear and age from decades of actual use. The contours of the silver have been softened and the pair have a superb patina, front and

They are of characteristic traditional design and were used to fasten the kira, the garment of Bhutanese women, at the shoulders. The kira was worn wrapped around the body and secured with a wide woven belt or kera.

The traditional dress is worn by all Butanese nationals in public, by decree of their hereditary monarch, in the interests of preserving Bhutanese culture in the face of the changes brought about by the opening of the country in the late 20th century.

This pair of koma brooches are from the early to mid 20th century, as the arrival of round shoulder brooches was only introduced in the early 20th century and are attached to the front of the dress - one on either shoulder or upper chest - and then been linked by a chain than ran around the back of the neck or the joining chain forming an additional decorative feature at the front.

The openwork design features superimposed square layered on the diagonal. Contrasting overlay gilt decorated the top - some has now worn off.

On the reverse of each koma is soldered a metal bar tapered to points which bend inwards to form a fastening device. (These are very sharp points!!). Also attached on the reverse of each koma is a small ring for the addition of the chain or japtha. The backs of the koma brooches tested as mixed metal alloy.

The chain is made up of cast double Dorje symbol units (a double dorje, or vishvavajra, are two dorjes connected to form crossed dorjes. It stands for the stability or foundation of the physical world).

It has a beautiful silver Knot of Eternity inset with a turquoise stone on each side at the center back of the chain.

There are the eight Glorious Emblems, sacred Buddhist auspicious symbols incorporated in the design pattern at each of the four points in the square.

Right Koma: Lotus Blossom, The Umbrella, The Golden Fishes, Conch Shell Trumpet

Left Koma: Wheel of Teaching, Vase of Sacred Water, Endless Knot, Victorious Banner

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