A glimpse of Christie’s Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence auction


Golconda diamonds, gem-set daggers and Mughal jewels will take centre stage at Christie’s New York this week

After an announcement in April — and global tours and exclusive launch dinners through London, Shanghai, Geneva and Hong Kong — Christie’s has brought its landmark collection, Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence, back to New York. Currently on display before a sale on June 19, the 400 lots form “the most valuable and precious collections of jewellery and Mughal objects to ever come to auction”, says Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery.

In addition to creations from royal dynasties dating as far back as the Mughal eras, the sale will also auction India-inspired creations and crossover pieces by international jewellers like Cartier. “No other auction in the past 50 years has offered so many exceptional Golconda diamonds (from the famed region presided over by the Nizam of Hyderabad, where the Koh-i-Noor was mined) and bejewelled objects that belonged to numerous royal families,” he says.

The pieces, which include a 200-carat Golconda diamond necklace and the 18th century ‘Arcot II’ diamond, all come from the private collection of Qatar’s ruling family, the house of Al Thani. Handpicking the specific pieces was a multi-year process, done with the “true eye of a collector”, he adds. Here are three to bid for, and some to admire.

From 10 am to 2.30 pm at the Rockefeller Center, New York, on June 19. Details:

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