Fabled Indian jewelry - 02

Indian jewelry has fascinated people all over the world. The workmanship, catchy designs, improvised techniques and patterns and, above all, the quality of gemstones being used  add up to their value, besides their period of creation. Countless pieces of jewelry commissioned by the royal families centuries ago still retain their charm and glory. It is needless to say their stunning designs and  superior quality gemstones give them a special look that is just overwhelming. Besides the royal  and rich families,  of India, countless Hindu temples are depositories of precious jewels and gemstones. The designs of temple jewelry  used for the procession deities are unique and slightly differ from those used by the people.  Certain  temple  festivals require certain set of jewelry to be worn by the Urchavar - procession deity, matching the type of decoration (alangaram) to be followed for that particular event. The size of jewelry owned by the temples depends on the devotees and the popularity. For example The Balaji temple (dedicated to Vishnu) in Tirupati, Andhra is also the second richest temple in the world  and it's annual hundial collections - donations in money, jewels, etc., run into several million US dollars. This temple has the largest collection of valuable jewelry in India donated by great kings, including some Muslim rulers.

Sheik Hamad bin Abdullah al Thani of Qatar's royal family has extraorinary fascination for vintage  Indian jewelry once owned by the fabulously rich Maharajahs, Moguls, the Nizams and others.=His vast collections of expensive jewels, diamonds and other gemstones are legendary and popular . Wherever his jewelry exhibition is on, people from different walks of life  make a bee line to take a glimpse into India's by gone-rulers' culture, tradition and their legendary royal jewelry.  His exhibits at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, November of 2014,  the Victorian & Albert Museum in London - November 2015, the Miho Museum in Japan - winter of 2016 and  the Grand Palais in Paris -  June 5, 2017, drew a large number of people as such jewels are rare and carry heritage value - a tempting opportunity that can not be missed. . Presented below are some of the wonderful creations and also other Indian jewelry. Photo credit: scroll.in/article and
Plait Ornament (jadanagam), 1890–1910 -  worn by women in South India. Silver, set with diamonds, rubies, and pearls. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associates).

Necklace (kanthi), 1850–1900, probably Hyderabad? Gold; set with emeralds; silver, set with diamonds; with pearls and string. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associates).
The Patiala Ruby Choker. alaintruong2014.wordpress.com/
The Patiala Ruby Choker by Cartier, circa 1931, restored and restrung to the original design by Cartier Tradition, Geneva, 2012. Rubies, diamonds and pearls with platinum mounts. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associates)
Dagger (kard) with European head. North India, Mughal, ca. 1620–25 (hilt), 1629–36 (blade). Watered steel blade, inlaid with gold; Finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan. South India, Mysore, ca. 1790. Gold, inlaid with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds; lac core. jade hilt.


Rosewater Sprinkler (gulabpash), circa 17th century (base) and late 18th century (neck), with inlaid rubies, emeralds and pearls. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associates)
Flask, 1650–1700, North India. Rock crystal, inlaid with gold wire, rubies, and emeralds, with gold collar, stopper, and foot. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associates).

 Base of a Water Pipe (huqqa), 1740–80, North India, Mughal. Jade, inlaid with gold wire, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associates).
 Huqqa Mouthpiece, ca. 1800,  North India, Mughal. Jade, inlaid with gold, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associates).
Pair of Anklets, 1800–50, North India, Jaipur or Bikaner. Gold, set with white sapphires, with attached pearls and hanging glass beads; enamel on reverse. The Al-Thani Collection. (Photo: © Prudence Cuming Associate.

A fine and exceptionally rare metal-thread embroidered quilted velvet Quirass (Peti), Mysore, late 18th Century. Estimate £25,000 - 35,000 (€34,000 - 48,000). Photo: Bonhams.

A fine embroidered Quiver and Arm Guards, related Belt and seven decorated Arrows, Mysore, late 18th Century. Estimate £40,000 - 60,000 (€55,000 - 82,000). Photo: Bonhams.
 Inspired by Hindu style jewelry, Cartier created this necklace for Daisy Fellowes in 1936. The Tutti Frutti jewel is set with emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds in platinum and gold. Photo Nils Herrmann, Cartier Collection © Cartier

The stunning ruby necklace Maharaja Digvijaysinhji of Nawanagar commissioned from Cartier in 1937. From the Al Thani collection © Christie’s Images Ltd

The Nawanagar Ruby Necklace and The Tiger Eye Turban Ornament Photo Christie's Images Ltd; Photo Prudence Cuming

The restored rendition of Maharajah of Patiala Necklace orgianlly made by Cartier in 1928. Photo Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier.