Wednesday, 12 June 2019

India's Golconda diamonds and Mogul artifacts - Christie's auction to be held in New York

Mogul ruler Shahjehan's hilted dagger. indiaaheadnews.com
Diamonds, symbol of status and affluence, are, no doubt, a Girl's best friend. For lonely rich men, it is a way to reach out to a woman by presenting her a sparkling diamond to touch her heart and soul, a symbol  of love and care that is as strong as the diamond is.   

You will be surprised that every year  or two popular auction houses in England  and America conduct auctions with lots of publicity on age-old artefacts, precious colored-stones, diamonds, etc  from India for  fabulous prices. As we all know, only the rich and famous  will normally attend such auctions and buy them as if they were buying some grocery items in a supermarket. They have the money power and willingness to do it to add give  an extra zing to their affluence. When they buy such costly, coveted  items, ordinary folks who, are preoccupied with recession, layoffs, struggling job prospects, uncertain real estate market, etc  can watch these grand auctions with their jaws dropped.  
Superior Golconda diamond ornament indiaaheadnews.com
Actress Marilyn Manroe sterlingcanyon.wordpress.com
The  253 year-old global auction house Christie’s at New York  announced that they would put up for  auction several precious artifacts of the Nizam era and diamonds mined from Golconda during the Qutb Shahi period. The artifacts will be on display from June 14-18 and the scheduled auction date is June 19, 2019. Almost all items will go under hammer on this day.  In the world of sparking and famous diamonds, the  Golconda (near Hyderabad), Telengana state occupies a proud place. For  a few thousand years it was the main source of world famous diamonds. Golconda was once the diamond capital of the world. The world famous diamond centers are  at Surat and Antwerp; the former is in Gujarat, India and the latter is in Belgiam. The Golconda mines are dry and dormant now, but the old diamonds from this region are sought  by the  rich folks for their  flawless nature and other unique characteristics, in particular, their ability to refelect light.  The other feature of  these precious stones of Indian origin is the  special luminousness.
10.46 ct. Pink diamond from Golconda, India  indiaaheadnews.com
The ensuing Christie's auction event has an attractive and fancy name: ‘Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence’.  Reports mention that several precious Golconda diamonds are being put up for auction and the additional attraction is  the Nizam of Hyderabad’s diamond encrusted ceremonial sword set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Among the sparkling, eye-blinding diamonds and precious stones, the most sensational one is that of 10.46 carat Pink Golconda diamond. Internally, a flawless stone, it is believed, its value will be  between $1.5 – $2 million - a whooping sum. Its antiquity goes back to the Qutb Shahi era  during wich time it was unearthed from the banks of river Krishna, 200 km southeast of Golconda. The Golconda mines were not confined  to the Hyderabad - Golconda  areas. The mines once covered a vast region. The famous diamonds of Golconda are from the Alluvial deposits of Krishna river, now in the state of Andhra.

Christie’s earlier auction included certain diamonds well-known for their  transparency  such as  the Evening Star, a well-known pear-shaped cut stone-  one of the significant  features of the Golconda diamonds. In the diamond trade, it is widely accepted that all diamonds displaying this special luminousness are of Indian origin.

Yet another special feature at the auction is the display of  flawless  large Portrait diamonds that are rare to find. These shallow and flat diamonds from the  Qutb Shai  period  were used as studs in portraits. They are  expected to fetch between $500,000 to $1 million.

India's Golconda is associated with the finest  ancient diamonds in the world that include  Daria-i-Noor, Noor-ul-Ain, Koh-i- NoorHope Diamond,  Princie Diamond, RegentDiamond, Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, etc. As you may be aware, the Koh-i-Noor forms part of the British Crown Jewels. It was looted by the British from the Maharajah of Punjab; so was the largest ruby from the same royal family of Punjab. 
Turban ornaments with precious stones from Indian rulers. indiaaheadnews.com
Included in the auction by Christie's are several historical items such as  the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s jade-hilted dagger, a string of pearls belonging to Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur, turban ornaments, the Patiala Ruby Choker and a gold finial from the throne of Mysore’s ruler Tipu Sultan, the courageous Muslim ruler who terrorized the East India company and its military.

Tit-bits: 
Sultan Quli assumed virtual independence in the 16th century after the fall of Bahmini kingdom. He founded the Qutb Shahi dynasty that lasted from 1518 right upto 1687, when Aurangzeb’s armies took over  the Deccan. Qutb Shahi dynasty spanned 171 years in the history of South India and the eight kings of this royal lineage ruled the land well and left a lasting impression  their strong personalities upon the land and its people. They were great builders and patrons of learning. An interesting feature is though they patronized the Persian culture, they valued the  the regional culture of the Deccan, and respected the aspirations of the Telugu people and their language. 
https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/rare-golconda-diamonds-and-mughal-artefacts-be-auctioned-new-york-103343