Sarpech or Head Ornament

The sarpech is one of two traditional Indian turban ornaments; the other is the kalgi. The sarpech was ornament worn by significant Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim noblemen, rajas and emperors. The origin of the sarpech can be traced to 16th century Mughal era. The design of the sarpech evolved since its origin – those fashioned in the 16th and 17th centuries were single units or the ek kalangi; from the 18th century onwards the theen kalangi or sarpech with three projections were designed as ostentatious turban ornaments with the central prominent piece. Sarpech patterns were inspired by tree of life, floral patterns inspired from Mughal textile designs. This is a massive gold and enamel sarpech set with white sapphires, crystals, green glass beads and Basra pearls. The front is usually studded with gems and semi-precious stones in jadau work while the back is very painstakingly painted with enamel which is usually never seen when worn.

Early 20th century
North India
Object size: 9.2 x 20.5 x 3.2 cm
Accession No.
Gold and Enamel
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre