Two pairs of bejeweled Mughal-era sets with precious stones such as diamond and emerald lenses are expected to fetch up to $3.5 million each when they are auctioned in London on Wednesday.
The bejeweled Mughal era diamonds were taken hold by an unknown 17th-century prince, auction house Sotheby’s said, with the precious stone lenses believed to boost spiritual enlightenment. The lenses from the set are from the date of the 17th century while the frames are said to be from the 19th century. One pair is named “Gate of Paradise” which features emerald lenses set in diamond-mounted frames. The second, called “Halo of Light”, consists of diamond lenses set in diamond-mounted frames.
Alexandra Roy, a specialist in the arts of the Islamic world at Sotheby’s while talking about the jewels told Reuters, “There are so many stories behind these spectacles. The emeralds came all the way from Colombia in the 17th century through Portuguese merchant ships to the Mughal empire. The Mughals absolutely loved gemstones”.
He further added, “The diamonds came from the Golconda mines (in India) and at the Mughal court. These were cleaved from stones which originally would have weighed two to three hundred carats. They were re-fashioned in their current 19th-century spectacle-like fashion. We have to be extraordinarily careful when it comes to the provenance of lots, we have actually known about these spectacles for a very long time, since the 80s.”
Talking about the intricate detailing of the jewels and precautions that are considered Roy said, “They go through a vigorous internal due diligence before we are able to offer them for sale. They have been examined by historians so they’ve been published in the academic world before. This is the first time we are offering them for sale but amongst academic circles, they’re well known.”
Both the jewels of the Mughal era are being offered at Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World & India for sale on Wednesday, with a price estimate of 1.5 million to 2.5 million pounds (USD 2 million USD 3.4 million).