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Exhibition C. Krishniah Chetty and Sons showcases some of its iconic designs

The keyTo Russel Market
The keyTo Russel Market

It almost feels like something out of the Arabian nights. An exquisitely carved gold choker embellished with blood-red rubies glows dully in a glass case. Another necklace studded with uncut diamonds has tiny birds hand painted on it. An ink blue sapphire surrounded by a whorl of diamonds and mounted on a platinum ring sparkles against its dark velvet backdrop. Bell-like pearl jhumkas of another era gleam while a gem-studded aigrette nestles within the folds of a silken turban. The Pièce de résistance is the elephant necklace — a 250 carat emerald in a jungle-inspired setting which includes a spray of leaves, and a diamond studded elephant.

“Jewellery is a reflection of your personality. It is something very personal and adds a certain charm to its wearer,” says C. Vinod Hayagriv, Managing Director of C. Krishniah Chetty and Sons , the heritage jewellery store. He should know — the house of C. Krishniah Chetty has a legacy of 144 years and is celebrating their anniversary with a gemstone carnival. “Often, memories get lost in the midst of time. We wanted to focus on our heritage and keep the good things of the past for the future,” says Vinod.

At this carnival titled The Grand 1869 Sale that showcases a number of unusual gemstones and pieces, several discounts and offers are on. In addition to this, visitors have access to a Diamond Journey Room, which follows the course of a diamond’s life from the time it is mined to the time it actually reaches a loved one and also the Inspiration Room, which has designs of ornaments created over the store’s history.

Magical coincidence

History is indeed a vital element of this enterprise. It was started by Cotha Krishniah Chetty in the year 1869 when, “Mahatma Gandhi was born and also the first major diamond was discovered in Africa that year,” says Vinod. “It must have been a magical coincidence,” he smiles. Krishniah Chetty started by supplying gemstones and beads to the British stationed in the cantonment area in Bangalore but soon diversified into jewellery as well and established a shop on Commercial Street that year.

They catered to a large number of elite clients including British officials, members of royalty, including the Maharaja of Mysore, the Maharaja of Sandur, The Nizam of Hyderabad and the Maharaja of Travancore.

The ganda-berunda

Some of their most iconic pieces include silver perambulators for royal children, the Ganda Berunda pendants — the two-headed bird went on to become the symbol of the state of Karnataka, a key presented to Sir Mizra Ismail for the opening of Russell Market, and a golden cricket bat presented to Sachin Tendulkar on the his 35{+t}{+h}test match where he completed 10,000 runs.

Every piece is exquisite, unique and finely crafted. “We have always have had in-house designers and pay a lot of attention to details”, says Vinod. “We have been in this field for six generations and pride ourselves on having in-depth knowledge. We create beautiful jewellery for our clients and I believe that we have earned our place here.”

The Grand Sale will be on till February 18. Visit any of their three stores at Main Guard Cross Road, Commercial Street, and Jayanagar.

P.Z.

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