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Rare imperial Mughal spinel at Sotheby's London sale

Press Trust of India  |  London 

A 17th century rare imperial Mughal Spinel inscribed with the names of Emperors Jahangir, Prince Khurram and Alamgir Aurangzeb, will go under the hammer at Sotheby's upcoming Arts of the Islamic World auction on April 26 here.

The sale that covers more than a thousand years of artworks, will feature works from prestigious collections from across the globe.


The spinel from dated 1615 AD - 1659 AD, is a rare example of a stone inscribed with three royal titles and is estimated between Rs 48 lakhs - Rs 64 lakhs(approx).

"A coveted gemstone, the 54.5 carat spinel is inscribed with the names of three royal patrons and embodies concepts of identity, legitimacy and authority.

"Many of the surviving gemstones are attributed to the period of Emperor Jahangir, who was said to have had more jewels than all of the monarchs of put together. The spinel offers a rare insight into the private lives and dynastic preoccupations of India's greatest ruling house," Sotheby's said in a statement.

While in the collection of Mrs David Graham Pole whose daughter was married to Hugh Ruttledge, the Deputy Commissioner of Lucknow and Almora, the spinel is said to have lost during a railroad journey and picked up by a railroad employee near Leicester who, not realising its worth, gave it to his twin children to play with.

Fortunately, it was found following an advertisement in the newspaper. Having been passed down to the present owners, it is now appearing at auction for the first time.

The sale will also feature a gem-set and enamelled gold necklace from 19th century North and is estimated at Rs Rs 24 lakhs - Rs 32 lakhs (approx).

Commissioned by a wealthy patron, the finely executed necklace was set with clear gemstones, which were cut and foil-backed to bring out their maximum brilliance as was the custom in 19th-century

It is entirely covered with fine polychrome enamel on the reverse and miniature seed pearl necklaces with a hanging spinel.

An Ottoman gem-set brooch bearing the tughra of Sultan Abdulhamid II from Turkey will also be part of the auction.

The object d'art was designed according to carefully chosen symbols of Ottoman power. The piece is crowned by the tughra of Sultan Abdulhamid II, a calligraphic signature that has evidence of his power and authority.

The arrows on either side can be traced back to the period of Sultan Mahmud II, and were symbolic of his administrative reforms in government and Westernisation of the Ottoman system.

The red flag set with pink gemstones represents the Sultanate and the green flag the Caliphate. Other emblems include weapons for the army and navy, books for justice and scales for law.

It is estimated at Rs 24 lakhs - Rs 32 lakhs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 18 2017. 13:32 IST
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