£55k Royal Indian necklace dazzles at auction


2015-06-26 11:41:39


55k Royal Indian necklace dazzles at auction

The Lion of the Punjab's jewellery stars at Bonham's 1.1m Islamic and Indian Art auction

Over 1.1m was raised at Bonham's Islamic and Indian Artauction on Friday,featuring an array of important historical pieces.

The highlight of the sale was an important 19th Century emerald and seed-pearl Necklace from the Lahore Treasury.

The necklace was reputedly worn by Maharani Jindan Kaur wife of Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab (1780-1839), which sold for twice its estimate at 55,200.

The necklace has six polished emerald beads, one later converted to a pendant. Each bead is gold-mounted, fringed with seed-pearl drop tassels, and fastened with a gold clasp.

This exquisite piece comes with a fitted cloth covered case, the inside of which is inscribed: "From the Collection of the Court of Lahore formed by HH The Maharajah Runjeet Singh & lastly worn by Her Highness The Late Maharanee Jeddan Kower".

Another success from the sale was a fine selection of Islamic manuscripts, including a large Qur'an leaf from the 'Five Suras' (circa 1350-1420) which fetched an impressive 38,400 (above its estimate of15,000-20,000).

Elsewhere, an Ottoman silk and metal-thread embroidered calligraphic Band (hizam) from the Holy Ka'ba at Mecca Turkey or Egypt, period of Selim III (AH 1203-1222/ AD 1789-1807)easily surpassed itspre-sale estimate of 50,000-70,000,sellingfor a staggering 84,000.

Anda magnificent Syrian 12th Century Ayyubid curved marble capital set on a round base reached a very substantial 26,400 (estimated at 15,000-20,000).

"The Indian and Islamic art market is buoyant despite all the talk of recession," said Kristina Sanne, Head of Indian and Islamic Art at Bonhams.

The sale is the second high-profile auction of the last 10 days following the exceptional Cartier sale on October 1.

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