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Necklace Inscribed with the Name of King Pratapamalladeva

A work made of gilt copper with semiprecious stones.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gilt copper with semiprecious stones.


About 1650


Kathmandu Valley

About this artwork

This ornament may have been given by King Pratapamalla (r. 1641–74), ruler of the Malla dynasty of Nepal, 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. This complex piece is composed of five principal strands and 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!”

The two innermost strands resemble rudraksha beads, made from the seeds of a large evergreen tree whose berries are commonly made into rosaries 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 crafted it.


On View, Gallery 141


Arts of Asia


Necklace Inscribed with the Name of King Pratapamalladeva


Kathmandu Valley (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Gilt copper with semiprecious stones


36.2 × 35.6 × 8.9 cm (14 1/4 × 14 × 3 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Alsdorf Foundation

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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