23 April 2014

NIZAM JEWELS - Heritage Set in Precious Stone

These are no monuments with insights into the architectural heritage, but the Nizam’s jewellery collection is just an enlightening. A blend of Deccani, Rajasthani and Lucknowi karigari, these pieces are embedded with some of the finest precious stones like Colombia emeralds, Basra pearls, spinels, rubies and old cut diamonds.
A legal battle for ownership over the collection, which has 173 ornaments, began in 1972 between the government and the Nizam’s heir Mukkaram Jah. The government of India finally bought the jewels for `218 crores.
The collection has been put on display twice at Salar Jung museum (in 2005 and 2007), but are otherwise stored away. Satish Govindas Shah whose family were the Nizam’s official jewellers, explains about a few pieces from the collection.
Kanti Marvareed
This is a male ornament made in silver and gold set with diamonds, a cabochon ruby, emerald beads, drops and pearls. It is a impressive pachchikam champakali necklace crafted in the shape of  michelia champaca bud. For more detail, the bud is suspended alternatively with emerald beads and pearl.
The design technique are pachchikam and kundan. The beautiful cabochon ruby traces its origins to Burma. These neck pieces are very common in India royal families symbolising their wealth and status.
Baglus Almas
This is a male shoulder belt with gold set and diamonds belonging to the 19th century. It is a male accessory combined with a dagger sheath with kundan work plaques and foiled table cut diamonds forming floral designs. The buckle or baglus is designed in three sections with a six-petaled flower in the centre and two small rectangular pieces. The plaques are so well connected with each other that the floral design seems unbroken. The same floral design is carried onto to the dagger sheath as well.
It is made up of 23 large and 21 small plaques and the sheath and buckle have a fewer than 1,383 diamonds.
Paizab Yakhoot
These magnificent anklets were one of the queen’s heavier accessories. Made in gold and set with rubies, diamonds and emeralds, they are design in the Deccan style of karigari, dating back to the 19th century. These anklets are further made of gold rectangular plaques assembled with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The design is a flower head with alternating diamond, emerald and ruby in the centre and with the rose cut diamonds all around and table cut emerald at the clasp. Two rows of rose cut diamonds around the lower edge make for an even more delicate design. The craftmanship, which is fine and intricate, depict a combination of western and Nizam styles.
Karay Dand Jarvari
A pair of gold bangles set with diamonds, enamel coats the inside. A priced possession of the Nizam jewellery collection, these were made by the Deccan karigars. The bangles are crafted in kundan and set with foiled old-cut diamonds in the front while the inside enamel has an intricate design of red flowers and green leaves on a white background.
Gundiyan Zamarrud
Seven emeralds encrusted with diamonds around it form the cluster seven shirt buttons that the Nizam used to wear. Each claw is set in a gold piece with round rose cut emeralds surrounded with small old cut diamonds. The emeralds are Colombian, known for their deep green colour and clarity. A fun fact – the Nizam’s were known for their fondness of the green precious stone. So, it seems quite natural that the set of seven buttons were the second most dearest ornaments in the Nizam’s collection after diamonds.
SOURCE:  http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/

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