New York Indian jewelrey auction, 2019 sold rare Nizam's jewels!!

New york auction 2019 Mogul and Maharajah;s

India’s rich culture of jewelry ornaments  and interest in gemstones are due to easy access to mineral resources. Naturally endowed with vast natural resources,  gold and gem encrusted jewels have been known to Indians for centuries.  The mines of Golconda  (actually now defunct Kollur mines in the alluvial beds of the Krishna river) yielded the highest grade of diamonds in the past.  They produced famous diamonds like Kohi-noor, Orlov, Hope, etc; the Himalayan region close to Kashmir once produced the rarest and most beautiful sapphires; quality emeralds arrived in India
Jewelry in the Mogul tradition was an integral aspect of articulating authority, with eyewitness accounts from the height of the Mogul Empire revealing the extent to which rulers valued gems for their rarity, physical properties and provenance,  from Colombia through commercial exchange via the Portuguese-controlled ports of Goa. Expensive jewelry in the Mogul tradition was a symbol of authority and regal power that gave them respect.  Th rulers, including Maharajahs valued gems for their physical attributes, color, luster, brilliance, flaw free, etc.  Philosophically speaking, in  this transient world, permanency has no relevance - be it political power, glory, wealth, etc. In particular, the wealth of the rich and famous is no exception . That what is yours may not be
there tomorrow is often quoted by the Vedantists.  Unlike the affluent people whose lives are subject to  seesaw battles in their lives, the contended man is ever happy with limited wealth to keep himself going. The lives of Indian Maharajahs and Nawabs,  who spent much of their time in the shadow of vast wealth, have changed after India's freedom in 1947 and the abolition privy purses (huge government allowances to the ex-princes) for the heirs of early rulers by he Indian government in 1970 had a deep impact on their extravagant style of  living in a democratic scenario.  To keep themselves going without losing their regal aura and royal status, the scions of former Maharajahs began to sell  some of their big palaces and  converted  the remaining  into five-star hotels. Likewise,  many princes sold part of their expensive jewelry collections to invest in business, etc. To these ex-rulers parting with their long cherished palatial palaces and vast collection of expense jewelry is a painful experience. 

The ex-rulers once had an  absolute attachment towards possessions  of expensive things like gold jewelry and diamonds and had  keen and sustained desire to accumulate and acquire more and more, not realizing that one day they could either become a serious impediment in life or slip past their grip on them. Once with  obsessive mind, now they have  to be content with less. 

In the case of the Nizam family of erstwhile Hyderabad state, South India, once the richest family in the world according to the Time magazine it was a distressing experience when  watching online auction of their grandfather's famed jewels at Christie's in New York on July 19th 2019. For the first time, the descendants of Nizam saw a trove of amazing jewels being sold in a far-off land and they were not aware the jewels belonged to their grand father.  

Numerous pieces from the  treasure house of Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last ruler of Hyderabad, attracted the attention of many rich people in the US and other countries. The 7th Nizam, passed away in 1967 and  was known to have one of the best jewelry collections in the world. It is quite obvious, the family members had  mixed feelings of pride and pain over  the cherished jewelry (of their grand father), a symbol of their royal power, culture, and legacy. 

However, Nawab Najaf Ali Khan said, "I was feeling happy that each and every piece of my grandfather's collection is priceless and is valued so much by art connoisseurs around the world. They were being sold for 10 to 15 times more than their base price."

The following are the important features of this popular auction by Christie's, New York:

01. Almost 400 pieces of the most impressive  Mogul-era Indian jewels were auctioned under  'Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence' sale. 

02. The auctioned lots span 500 years and showcase the culture  and tradition of Indian jeweled arts from the Mogul Empire (founded in 1526) and the age of the Maharajahs to present day.

03. The auction by the 253 year old firm Christie's  fetched as much as  $109,271,875 (about Rs 700 crore), huge sum.  

04. According to the famous auction house Christie's, it was the highest total for any auction of Indian art and Mughal jeweled objects and second highest for a private jewelry auction.

05. Earlier the auction house anticipated the sale could rank as one of its most high-profile, and highest-grossing, jewelry auctions reminiscent of the evening auction of  Hollywood actress  Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, which totaled more than $100 million.

 06. Among the auctioned lots included amazing and stunning items such as  necklaces, the Imperial Spinel necklace and a diamond rivière necklace containing nearly 200 carats of Golconda stones (mined near Krishna river, Andhra).

07. Two  interesting pieces went under the hammer and it was the  sale of  two notable diamonds: the Arcot II, one of the famed Arcot diamonds given to Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, by Muhammad Ali Wallajah, Nawab of Arcot (of Tamil Nadu, S. India) in the 1700s on her visit to India, and the “Mirror of Paradise,” a Golconda diamond.

08. A ceremonial sword of the Nizam fetched $1,935,000 (Rs 13.4 crore) while 'The Mirror of Paradise', a 52.58 carat rectangular cut-diamond went for $6,517,500 (about Rs 45 crore).

09. The  lots span 500 years and showcase the culture of Indian jeweled arts from the Mogul period  founded in 1526 and the age of the Maharajahs to present day.

Presented below are some of the rare brilliant Indian jewels that were sold at the New York auction, 2019:

Above image: (Left): The Belle Époque Devant-de-corsage diamond brooch and (right) a diamond rivière necklace from the collection of the Nizam of Hyderabad. Sold  for Rs 17 crore.

 Above image:: Another prominent offering is a natural pearl and diamond cartier necklace of Rajmata Gayatri Devi, wife of Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur. The graduated strand of 37 round to oval natural pearls, old-cut marquise-shaped diamond is estimated to be valued at between USD 1 million and USD 1.5 million.

Patiala Ruby Choker

Above image: Commissioned by Maharajah Bhupinder Singh of Patiala (of Pumjab) and created by Cartier in 1931, the ruby, diamond and pearl necklace represents one of the greatest relationships to develop during the Mughal period, as the Maharaja of Patiala was one of Cartier’s most important Indian clients in the 1920s and 1930s. A frequent visitor to India in those days, Cartier, quite familiar with Indian designs,  captured the blend of the European and Indian cultures.

Above image: There’s also the enamel and diamond peacock aigrette by Mellerio dits Meller that Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala purchased in 1905, during one of his trips to Paris

Imperial Spinel Necklace

Above image: The Imperial Spinel Necklace comes from North India and contains spinel dating from the early 1600s to mid-1700s. It features Persian inscriptions of Mughal rulers’ names and the dates of their reigns.


Above image: This particular sarpech dates to 1800-1850 Hyderabad and features two spinel dated 1607-1608 and 1633-1634 and is inscribed in Persian with the names of Mughal rulers Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
Above image: This carved emerald from North India, circa 1950, weighs 87.70 carats

Above image: The D color, internally flawless 17.21-carat “Arcot II” diamond was one of two stones presented to Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, by Muhammad Ali Wallajah, Nawab of Arcot.

Above image: An emerald, ruby and diamond set diamond. gold state pen case and ink-well (davat-i dawlat), Deccan, Central India; late 16th century collection. A sacred bird (hamsa) engraved under the inkwell. A sacred bird (hamsa) engraved under the inkwell.

Above image: Antique 33 diamond necklace from the Nizam collection. sold for $245000 at the action