A landmark auction destined to make history. The fabled time of the Maharajas and the Mughal Court at Christie’s New York.
An unprecedented collection of Indian jewels from the Mughal era, together with Indo-European-style designs and contemporary XX century creations from the most celebrated high jewellery houses will drive the attention of experts, connoisseurs and collectors next 19th June at Christie’s New York.
The sale is titled Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence, and this is not a title given by accident.
This auction is set to go down in history by experts, connoisseurs and collectors alike, as it will offer almost 400 pieces from the illustrious Al Thani Collection.
Jewels that tell 500 years of goldsmith art and that testify of the Indian royal ruling families’ grandeur – the Maharajas and the Moghul Empire, that ruled India from 1526 to 1857.
The Indian culture, through these works of art, demonstrated to be able to speak to the West. A creative dialogue that gave life to jewels that embodies the best of these two worlds, by uniting exceptional gems to the styles of the most famous high jewellery Maisons of Place Vendôme, in Paris.
This is living history in our handsRahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery
This is history that was born both thanks to the natural richness of the earth, which gifted men with the purest and most richly saturated gems, and to the role that jewellery had in the Mughal tradition – a fundamental one, to impress with power and wealth by boosting political influence.
In the words of François Curiel, Chairman, Christie’s Europe:
“This landmark collection traces the history of Mughal jewels and objects to present day and represents the most significant collection of its type ever to come to auction. This project is a true partnership between our market-leading Jewellery department, led by Rahul Kadakia, and World Art department, led by William Robinson, along with independent art advisory firm The Fine Art Group. The collection begins in Mughal India, the most important dynasty that ruled the country, famous for its emeralds, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, jewelled weapons and objects that are bejewelled beyond belief. From exceptional daggers worn by the elite Nobles and Royal families of India to important jewels inspired by Indian tradition and architecture, the auction of this notable collection presents a truly significant cultural moment and offers a milestone opportunity for collectors.”
The jewels from the Al Thani Collection which will be offered by Christie’s New York communicate grandeur.
They are objects of art to celebrate the highest moments in the rulers’ life, such as writing, as noble as the most artistic calligraphy and the prestige of ruling itself.
There are also important and incredible gems, such as the diamonds sourced in the fabled Golconda mines (today extinct and the very first ones discovered by man) which gave back the purest of crystals. Or the superb sapphires from Burma, and the Colombian emeralds which reached India through the commercial routes via Portugal.
The importance of this collection lies, if we listen to experts and collectors, in exemplifying the extent of Indian royal courts’ sophisticated and refined artistic production, from the XVIIth century onwards, to perfection.
These are treasures that include delicate jades, vivid emeralds, opulent jewels and imposing royal portraits. Together with them, precious artistic objects which demonstrate the elaborate technique of enamelling – that started at the Mughal Court and which spread across all the sub-continent, flourishing in ateliers that produced wonderful artefacts personifying the rulers’ power and wealth.
Belonging to the Al Thani Collection, these 400 lots will generate sale proceeds which will go to sustain the Al Thani Foundation’s cultural initiatives, and to allow this majestic collection, which includes almost 6,000 pieces, to find its home at the Hôtel de la Marine, in Paris, from 2020. CC