Auctions

Jewelry from Indian Royalty to Be Sold at Bonhams

AuctionsApr 06, 2016

Jewelry from Indian Royalty to Be Sold at Bonhams

A 19th century ruby and diamond “manga malai” necklace is among the pieces up for grabs at the auction house’s Islamic and Indian Art sale this month.

20160406_Manga-malai.jpg
A highlight of the Islamic and Indian art sale at Bonhams London on April 19 is this gold “manga malai” necklace, worn by women in southern India for special occasions.

London--Royal jewels are coming to Bonhams later this month.  

The auction house will offer jewelry that once belonged to an Indian royal family as part of its Islamic and Indian Art sale, scheduled to take place April 19 in London.

The family, which wishes to remain anonymous, now lives in the U.K., and has had these pieces in their collection for generations, Bonhams said.

They include a “manga malai” necklace from the 19th century, composed of linked mango-shaped elements--the mango is regarded as a symbol of love and fertility in southern Indian--and set with rubies and diamonds. It’s estimated to sell for as much as $90,000.

Another highlight of the auction is a jewel-encrusted dagger, the hilt of which is a type rarely produced in Mughal India, according to Bonhams, and can be compared to 18th century Persian daggers of similar form.

The auction house estimates that it was probably created in the Rajasthan area of India, known for its royal workshops and enameling centers. This piece could garner as much as $71,000.

The sale also includes a rare belt buckle set with emeralds and diamonds on the front and intricate enamel floral details on the back, which Bonhams predicts could sell in the range of $26,000 to $35,000.

“This is a treasure trove,” said Rukmani Kumari Rathore, specialist in Islamic and Indian art at Bonhams. “They are magnificent examples of 18th and 19th century craftsmanship and provide a wonderful opportunity to purchase an heirloom once owned by Indian royalty.”

The full list of items in the auction can be found on the Bonhams website.

Click through the slideshow below to see some of the highlights of the April 19 sale.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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