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Vintage jewels, textiles at Saffronart auctions

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Rare objects of art including jewels and vintage fabrics showcasing myriad cultural influences will go under the hammer at Saffronart's consecutive online auctions of jewellery and textiles from October 18 to 20.

The 'Fine Jewels and Objets' sale that will be held on October 18 - 19 October features jewels that hark back to "an era of vintage and glamour."

The jewellery sale includes important pieces created around European old cut diamonds, as well as traditional Indian jewellery techniques ofmeenakariandthewaseen from the Mughal era to present day.

Tasselled necklaces, objets including gold cigarette cases and holders, pill boxes, perfume dabbers, and fancy coloured stones, are among the highlights of the sale.

A three-strand natural pearl necklace with exceptionally well-matched pearls leads the sale at Rs 2.8 - 3.2 crores.

The collection includes gemstones like sapphires, rubies from the Mogok mines in Myanmar, and natural saltwater pearls, besides a spinel necklace; sapphire and diamond earrings; and a kunzite, pink sapphire and diamond ring.

"All pieces are attractively priced, offering buyers a unique opportunity to acquire quality jewels. Some lots, such as the sautoir, rings, pendants and earrings are suitable for everyday wear," says Minal Vazirani, co-founder of Saffronart.

"Woven Treasures" of historical importance from textile historian Jasleen Dhamija's collection, created over six decades will be up for sale on October 19 - 20.

Dhamija (83) says that she wants the collection to be acquired by somebody who will preserve the antiques like she has been.

The collection showcases the rich traditions of Iran,

Central Asia and India, through opulent relics like Kashmiri Pashmina robes, Central Asian suzanis, Iranian kilims and Zoroastrian ritual sofrehs.

Dhamija built her collection during her research and revival of textile traditions of India, Iran, Central Asia, South East Asia, the Balkans, and Africa.

Each piece has been selected for its technique, design, colours and meaning, she says.

"Some were purchased in bazaars; others directly off a weaver's loom and some are the first pieces from independent India's revival efforts.

"Many are no longer made, barely visible in the cultures they come from, their use and meaning almost forgotten," says Dhamija.

Highlights include a 1930 Pakistani piece in handwoven cotton and embroidered with untwisted silk thread. The motifs are of white and pink pigeons on an orange background.

There is also a Chamba bodice with large floral motifs from 19th century Himachal Pradesh, a Shah Nama Kalamkari

From 19th century Isfahan in Iran, and a 1930 suzani with constellation pattern from Bukhara in Uzbekistan among others.

"The auctions offer buyers an unprecedented opportunity, not only to acquire pieces of exceptional quality, but also become keepers of traditions which are recognised for their greatness but unfortunately are also on the verge of dying out," says Vazirani.

First Published: Mon, October 17 2016. 12:22 IST