Lot 68. An enamelled emerald and diamond-set kundan brooch (or pendant), India, Jaipur, 18th-19th century. Estimate 35,000 — 45,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's

designed as a floral blossom comprising diamonds set in the kundan technique around a large central emerald, suspended spinel, the reverse with detailed polychrome enamelling, two small hooks above for attaching; 9cm. by 6.4cm.; 3 9/16 by 2 1/2  in.

NoteThe present item was decorated in the kundan technique, a quintessentially Indian technique wherein precious stones are set into narrow ribbons of hyper-purified gold (kundan) that acquires an adhesive quality at room temperature. Gemstones are individually fixed into place and are backed with polished silver or gold in order to maximise their reflective quality. The design is further enhanced with a bright enamel layer (mina) (U. R. Bala Krishnan and M. Sushil Kumar, Dance of the Peacock, Mumbai, 2010, p. 276). Historically, gemstones were believed to hold protective qualities and have also served as indicators of the owner’s economic and social status. Namely, diamonds and emeralds were used by Mughal emperors and Maharajas as symbols of power and economic prosperity (O. Untracht, Traditional Jewelry of India, London, 2010, p. 312).

Sotheby's. Boundless: Dubai, Dubai, 13 Nov 2017, 07:30 PM