Thursday, 21 January 2016

British queen's royal vault and some Crown jewels - India connection

The Imperial State Crown of India, which contains over 6000 diamonds, www.dailymail.co.uk

Jaipur sword and scabbard: A maharajah¿s coronation present for Edward VII. www.dailymail.co.uk
Diamonds, for centuries, have been a dynamic and powerful symbol of sovereignty  among the rulers world over. As for  rich  people, they are  an important gift to express their love and commitment to their dear ones , a way of reaching out to their heart. Unlike other colorful, attractive gem stones, diamonds are  the hardest natural mineral ever  known, having an hardness of 10 on Moh's scale of hardness followed by corundum and garnet. Their resistance to wear and tear, endurance and long life beefed up by their dazzling beauty, varied light reflections  and purity keep them apart from other stones and carry value and admiration. Hence,  in the case of royal families, more often than not, highly valuable diamonds have become  part of  jewelery, objects of veneration and regalia. Numerous diamonds such as Kohinoor, Black Orlov, Dresden green, Moon of Baroda diamond, Arcot diamonds, etc are considered  renowned  gems. The most surprising fact is, invariably, many of them have changed  hands and crossed oceans  down centuries after wars  between countries,  but have still retained their value and name.  No doubt world over, people are curious about  diamonds  because of their allied associations  with  long history dating back to several centuries,  remarkable size and quality of shine and most importantly notoriety gained as a result of curses associated with them. Many of the cursed diamonds were once stolen or looted from the Hindu temples of India centuries ago, where they adorned the  presiding deities. Vast collections of jewelery, gemstones and diamonds were made  in the past centuries during the reign of British colonial rule across the globe.

Among the Royal families of the world, the longest surviving   British Royal family members  have the largest collection of precious gems, jewelery and diamonds, one can ever imagine, acquired over a period of roughly 250 years or more. The  British Royal collection includes   wonderful  and  most spectacular treasures that may blind one's eyes.  

  
Ever since  Edward the Confessor kept the royal jewels in the safest vaults  in Westminster Abbey, London has been home to the renowned
The Tower of London,has witnessed a great deal of British history in the 900 years it has stood on the banks of the Thame .  houses Royal jewels.. www.tracyanddale.50megs.com
Crown Jewels.Thewere shifted  from Westminster Abbey (now the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church directlyunder the jurisdiction of the monarch)  to the Tower of London  at some point of time in the 14th century due to a series of successful and attempted thefts.
It is stated that  around 2.5 million visitors  from  all over the world  enjoy the exhibition every year. The amazing jewels on display in The tower of London are silent spectators of long British history that saw the seesaw battles among the European powers  and royal family squabbles taken place within the four walls of the palace.

Neither the British public nor the people from other countries, in particular, from former British colonies never get a chance to see the vast jewelry collections at the same time in one place, for such expensive collections carefully procured and saved for a pretty long period rarely go on display for public view except museums.  it was during the extravaganza  to mark  Queen  Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, a new exhibition that was part of the Summer Opening of the Buckingham Palace was held  on June 24, 2012 - exploring  how the gems had been used and worn by monarchs - both European and Indian over the last two centuries and their crass display of immense wealth in a world where more than two thirds of people suffer from pangs of hunger, poverty and malnutrition. It was a great opportunity for the people to see sparkling jewels in  close quarters and appreciate how delicately  and ingeniously  they were mounted and the skill and craftsmanship used in the olden days.
Queens Coronation 2nd June 1953. dressmadameguillotine.org.uk
The most attractive  item at the exhibition that hogged the limelight was  the dazzling, resplendent Jaipur Sword hilt and Scabbard studded with magnificent  diamonds that weighed  a whooping 2,000 carat, the largest being one among the pale yellow diamonds  in the end of the cross guard, which is estimated at 36 carats. The Maharajah of Jaipur, now in the state of Rajasthan,  Sawai Sir Madho Singh Bahadur (1861–1922), to mark the king's coronation in 1902 presented this artistic jeweled sword to King Edward VII.

 Made from steel and gold, enameled in blue, green and red, the beautiful diamonds are set in a design of lotus flowers and leaves. The sword contained  more than 719 white and yellow diamonds. The flat cut of many of the stones, set in combination with their silver backed settings, is characteristic  of Indian jewelery.  The rose and brilliant-cut stones used in this wonderful piece of jewelry seem to have been processed in Europe and this suggests possible European trade connection with the Indian subcontinent.


The following were the outstanding exhibits that are worthy of mention:

  01. Queen Alexandra's Coronation Fan, a diamond-studded ostrich feather fan, made for Edward VII's consort for the coronation. will also be on display.
 

  02. A  Jewelled snuff box, dated circa 1770, that was once owned by Frederick the Great of Prussia. It is mounted with nearly dazzling 3,000 diamonds in elaborate flower motifs and  the box is thought to have been inherited by Frederick during his 18th-century reign (1740-1786).

 03. The Imperial State Crown of India, which contains over 6000 stunning  diamonds of beauty, is prepared for the new exhibition of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

 04. The Delhi Durbar Tiara, made for Queen Mary in 1911, was later adapted by her to accommodate either the Cullinan III or IV diamond or both. Believed to be the largest tiara in the Windsor collection in terms of overall size, the Delhi Durbar was  made for Queen Mary to wear it at the Delhi Durbar and  was crafted from other dismantled jewels in her collection, primarily her Boucher-on Loop Tiara.
Royal Tour of India, 1961, Queen Elizabeth II is pictured riding an elephant www.gettyimages.com
05. Queen's personal jewels, including the Cullinan III and IV Brooch, cut from the largest diamond ever found, and the Coronation Necklace and Earrings, created for Queen Victoria and worn by Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and the Queen at their coronations.
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee.rememberingletters.wordpress.com
 06. Koh-i-Noor diamond, which was originally given to Queen Victoria as part of the British Empire spoils from Punjab in 1850. Governor General of India lord Dalhousie (1812 – 1860; GGI: 1848 to 1856.), was instrumental in the transfer of the ownership of  this most beautiful diamond in the world (believed to be  around 3000 years  old!!) as a gift to Queen Victoria by the the East India Company. He saw to it that  the diamond  was presented to the queen by it's owner  pretty young Maharaja Duleep Singh of Punjab. The handing over of the Koh-i-Noor to  Oueen Victoria on 3 July, 1850 as per the terms of the conclusion of the Sikh War also coincided with the 250th anniversary of the British East India company.

Kohinoor diamond (originally from Kollur- Golconda mines, near Hyderabad, India. eastcoastdaily.in

  07. The Diamond Diadem, set with more than 1,300 brilliant-cut diamonds, which is worn by the Queen  as seen on British and Commonwealth stamps and on certain bank notes (bills) and coins.

Ref:

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