25 octobre 2019

Indian Jewellery sold at London, 23 october 2019


 Lot 235. A diamond-set and enamelled gold pendant with seed-pearl string necklace, North India, 19th century; pendant: 6.2 by 5.8cm. Estimate: 7,000 - 10,000 GBP. Lot sold 8,750 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's. 

gold kundan settings with foil-backed diamonds, designed as a peacock in the centre on a blue enamel ground with openwork stylised foliate border, reverse with detailed polychrome enamelling featuring peacocks, later added hanging pendant with seed-pearls, mounted with a necklace comprising interlacing strings of seed pearls, metal-thread string for fastening 


Lot 236. A pair of Mughal gem-set and enamelled bracelets, North India, 18th-19th century; each: 8cm., central section: 3.2 by 4.5cmEstimate: 6,000 - 8,000 GBPLot sold 10,625 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's.

each with a raised central section with set with foil-backed diamonds and pink stones on blue enamelling, reverse with polychrome enamel featuring birds and floral details, gold strings for fastening



 Lot 239. A large Mughal gem-set and enamelled belt buckle set as a necklace, North India, 18th centuryeach: 8cm., central section: 3.2 by 4.5cmEstimate: 8,000 - 12,000 GBPLot sold 13,750 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's. 

gold kundan-settings with foil-backed emeralds and diamonds, the reverse with polychrome enamel featuring birds and floral details, band for fastening as belt and two hooks later fastened with string and seed-pearl terminals to be worn as a necklace.



Lot 240. A diamond-set and enamelled necklace with seed-pearl and gem-set fringe, North India, 19th century; 19cm. max. diamEstimate: 10,000 - 15,000 GBPLot sold 12,500 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.  

gold kundan settings with foil-backed diamonds, openwork foliate design, set above with small pearls, below with a fringe of gems and seed-pearls, reverse with polychrome enamel floral design, metal-thread for fastening and seed-pearl terminals.


Lot 244. A pair of diamond-set and enamelled bracelets set with pearls, North India, 18th century; each: 8.5cm. max. diam., 1.5cm. width. Estimate: 15,000 - 25,000 GBPLot sold 18,750 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.

each set with foil-backed diamonds designed as flowerheads against a blue enamel ground, the interiors with polychrome enamelled flowers, the external edge set with pearls between red enamel loops.

NoteAn almost identical bracelet was sold at Sotheby's New York, 19 September 2008, lot 258.


Lot 256. Two navaratna jewels, a gem-set gold Mughal pendant and an enamelled and gem-set gold bracelet, India, Benares, 19th century; pendant: 11cm. length, bracelet: 9cm. diam. Estimate: 5,000 - 7,000 GBPLot sold 6,250 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.

the pendant of openwork, floral design with a central mother-of-pearl medallion surrounded by colourful gemstones in the navaratna sequence, including turquoise, moonstone, seed pearl, sapphire, coral, beryl, quartz, ruby, polychrome enamel to reverse, with associated hanging pendant and later brooch pin; the bracelet also set with a navaratna sequence of various coloured stones including heggonite garnet, coral, maybe pearl, turquoise, cat's eye, opal, divided by diamond-inset leaves, the interior decorated in characteristic gulabi (rose-pink) and white enamel with green

Exhibited: The pendant was on loan to the L.A. Mayer Memorial Museum, Jerusalem, 1987-98.

NoteThis colourful and bright pendant, which was later transformed into a brooch, follows the notion of auspiciously setting the stones representing the nine planets, each of which has an associated deity. In this case, there are two sets of the nine stones around the outside of the pendant, both sets sharing the stone at the top and bottom of the circle.



Lot 261. A rare gem-set and green-enamelled bazuband, North India, circa 1900; 6 by 14.5cmEstimate: 18,000 - 25,000 GBP. Lot sold 6,250 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's. 

the gold openwork body set with a large central foiled peridot with diamonds and spinels, the reverse applied with unusual green 'meenakari' enamelwork of floral design, two metal-thread suspension. 

Property of a European noble family.

Provenance: Gifted by Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (1866-1911).

Note: The use of peridot in Indian jewellery is unusual, but it is reputed to have been one of the Nizam's favourite stones (Balakrishnan 2001, p.151). Peridot, with its characteristic greenish-yellow tinge, was described by the Ancient Egyptians as “gem of the sun”. The present example was most probably sourced in Burma and sent to Hyderabad to be set along with other special commissions for the Nizam and his family (see Balakrishnan and Sadisharan 2018, pp.149-150 for a picture of two young girls wearing period and diamond set bazubands). A further feature which is particularly rare is the overall green enamelling on the reverse, unlike the more common polychrome enamelling.



Lot 262. A carved emerald and diamond-set necklace with green enamel, North India, circa 1900; 21cm. height, 16cm. max. diamEstimate: 25,000 - 35,000 GBP. Lot sold 87,500 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's. 

set with eighteen carved emeralds, most flat square-cut set within articulated openwork gold fittings, featuring a leaf-shaped emerald to the centre surrounded by a band of diamonds mounted with a small pearl above, further hanging foliate pendant, set with a large carved emerald, reverse enamelled in green with floral motifs, with a metal-thread string for fastening. 

Property of a European noble family.

Provenance: Gifted by Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (1866-1911).



Lot 263. An emerald and diamond-set polychrome enamelled necklace (khanti), North India, late 19th century; 24cm. height, 18.5cm. diamEstimate: 40,000 - 60,000 GBP. Lot sold 52,500 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.

the openwork design forming flowerheads, set with diamonds and emeralds, on flexible chains, with a hanging pendant with pearl, enamelled on the reverse in red, green, yellow, blue and white with foliate details on each setting, with a metal-thread string for attaching.

Property of a European noble family.

Provenance: Gifted by Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (1866-1911).

Note: A very similar necklace, attributed to nineteenth-century North India was published in Krishnan and Kumar 1999, pp.154-5, no.223. Another comparable necklace was part of the al-Thani collection (published in Amin Jaffer (ed.) Beyond Extravagance: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels, pp.270-1, no.87).



Lot 264. A pair of emerald and diamond-set enamelled drop earrings (lu lu), North India, late 19th century; each: 9cmEstimate: 7,000 - 10,000 GBP. Lot sold 11,250 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.  

each with a large drop-shaped emerald set with diamonds above in leafy design, with hanging spinel and further small pendant emeralds, polychrome enamel to reverse with floral stem, hook for fastening.  

Property of a European noble family. 

Provenance: Gifted by Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (1866-1911).



Lot 265. A diamond-set necklace with spinel drops (champakali), North India, 18th-19th century; 15cm. height, 21cm. max. diamEstimate: 15,000 - 20,000 GBP. Lot sold 18,750 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.  

the diamonds set in a 'magnolia champaka' flower design with hanging spinels, with a string of cultured pearls attached above, reverse with gold floral details on cream enamel ground, string for fastening

Property of a European noble family. 

Provenance: Gifted by Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (1866-1911).

Note: Magnolia champaka (or champak) is a large tree native to India whose fragrant flowers are formed of long dangling petals, a feature that is evoked in this necklace. Champa trees are particularly found in North East India at high altitudes and it is no surprise that they would have inspired local jewellers. A closely comparable example, published in Balakrishnan and Sadisharan 2018, pp.131-2, is attributed to the Deccan, early eighteenth century. The plain enamelling to the reverse is also unusual and a pendant with similar enamelling is published in ibid. p.64.


Lot 267. A diamond-set and enamelled amulet pendant (taweez) with seed pearl string, North India, circa 1900; pendant: 7.8 by 5 by 0.6cm, with seed-pearl string: 24.2cmEstimate: 14,000 - 18,000 GBP. Lot sold 26,250 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.   

each with internal band decorated with polychrome enamelling featuring flowerheads on a white and gold striped ground, the exterior set with rubies and emeralds on one side and diamonds and emeralds on the other, seed-pearl and diamond-set fringe at top, clasps for fastening.  

Property of a European noble family.

Provenance: Gifted by Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (1866-1911).

NoteKnown as a 'taveez choti' or braid amulet, the present example was designed to emulate the talismanic boxes which contained scriptures and were worn for protection (Balakrishnan 2001). The added four seed-pearl strands would have been fastened to the braid of the wearer and worn as a symbol of status such as in the photograph of four of the wives of Mir Osman Ali Khan (Mahallat-e-Mubarak), each wearing a distinctive taveez choti, taken by Raja Deen Dayal and Sons (published in: Balakrishnan and Sadisharan 2018, p. 193). A comparable example is in the Ministry of Culture, Government of India collections, inv. no. NJ 95.149, ibid. p.184.


Lot 268. A pair of gem-set and enamelled bracelets (kada), North India, circa 1900; each: 8.5cm. max diamEstimate: 18,000 - 25,000 GBP. Lot sold 30,000 GBPPhoto: Sotheby's.    

square form pendant with openwork foliate design set with diamonds on both sides, with polychrome enamel floral borders, mounted with four Basra seed pearl strings, later cord for fastening and tassle.  

 Property of a European noble family.

 Provenance: Gifted by Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (1866-1911).

NoteA similar pair, previously in the Al-Thani collection, was sold at Christie's New York, 19 June 2019, lot 55. 

Sotheby'sArts of the Islamic World, London, 23 october 2019

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