Nettur Petti/ Jewellery Boxes of Kerala

Jewellery, Beads, Jewelled Objects, Wood

Nettur Petti/ Jewellery Boxes of Kerala

The Nettur Petti, the jewellery caskets are a mark of the aristocratic upper class Kerala woman. The nettur petti as the name says was once produced in Nettur which is in the region of Malabar near Kozhikode. Production center now include besides Nettur, Thiruvananthpuram and Chakai. Brass work as done on the Nettur petti is similar in vocabulary and craftsmanship to the highly ornamental brass locks or the chithrathazhu which may be seen on the main entrance doors of many o the old houses of Kerala. Rose wood and a local wood known as anjili is shaped and cut into different pieces that are joined together with high perfection through hand tools. The casket has a pointed top just like the gopuram of a temple and the base is a rectangle that supports the upper portion and also becomes the storage space for jewellery. Created using a combination of wood work, hand painting skills and manually shaped and chiselled brass joints, screws and locks; these products are the result of hours and skill. Each stage of this process is performed by hand, including the making of the nails used to fasten the wood pieces. After the box is varnished, the decorative polished brass elements are affixed onto it. Other than the velvet lined interior of the box and the elaborate brass fixtures that impart a sense of luxury to this already elaborately embellished product. While the petti has remained relatively true to its original form variations extend to detailing and the brass ornamentation, the intricacy of the painting on the wooden surface and the form of the petti.




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