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Tiger Claw Necklace

1928.147 (RS203323)


This necklace is made from seven tiger claws set in gold mounts. Each gold mount is a wide cap set at the top of the claw, delicately chased with floral designs. The mount is held in place with a set of prongs extending from a tab along the front edge of each claw. Each claw is connected to the other with a series of 'O' rings set into loops at the cap and a second set driven into each claw at its mid-section. From that second set of rings a fine gold cable chain drapes across each claw. A pair of gold double link chains extend from the first and seventh claw to connect to a double link gold chain with a tube slide clasp. The necklace is part of a parure that consists of a bracelet, earrings, and a brooch.


This tiger claw necklace is part of a set, called a parure, which includes a bracelet, earrings, and a brooch. The set was purchased in Bombay (now called Mumbai), India, in 1875 as a gift for the popular Cambridge author Georgina Lowell Putnam (1836-1922). Sets of tiger claw jewelry were quite fashionable in the nineteenth century, made as hunting trophies and tourist souvenirs by talented Indian jewelers. Tiger hunting was a common pastime for British government officials stationed in India. Jewelers in Britain and the United States advertised tiger claw jewelry in the 1870s and 1880s.Claw jewelry is a beautiful but troubling product of that era. <br/>
When this set was made in 1875 the city of origin was called "Bombay." Today it is called "Mumbai."
Location of origin
Bombay, India, Asia
gold (metal)
Object type
Bombay (Salsette Island, Maha¯ra¯shtra, India)
Maha¯ra¯shtra (India)
Descriptive terms
gold (metal)
Set, Jewelry
1 3/8 x 3/8 (WxD) (inches)
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Louise M. Dewey
Exhibition Notes
"Hidden Treasures from Elegant Eras," Historic Jewelry from the Collections of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities presented by Shreve, Crump & Low, September 15 - November 30, 1995. "Jewelry at Historic New England," Online exhibit presented by Historic New England launched September 30, 2007 at
Related Items
Title Tiger Claw Bracelet Accession number 1928.148 Relationship Part of set
Title Tiger Claw Brooch Accession number 1928.149 Relationship Part of set
Title Tiger Claw Earrings Accession number 1928.150AB Relationship Part of set
Title Necklace Accession number 1927.901 Notes Jewelry and related items donated by Miss Louise M. Dewey:
Title Jet cross pendant Accession number 1927.906
Title Gold pin Accession number 1927.907
Title Hair brooch Accession number 1927.908
Title Brooch with picture Accession number 1927.909
Title Tortoiseshell pick Accession number 1927.910
Title Ivory ring Accession number 1927.911
Title Gold ring Accession number 1927.912
Title Gold ring Accession number 1927.913
Title Gold ring Accession number 1927.914
Title Gold ring Accession number 1927.915
Title Ivory hairpin Accession number 1927.916
Title Bronze medal Accession number 1927.917
Title Watch key Accession number 1929.92
Title Two watch keys Accession number 1929.93
Title Hair bracelet Accession number 1932.467
Title Hair ring Accession number 1932.468