Record-high auction of royal Indian jewels totals $109m


A collection of royal Indian jewellery achieve around $109 million in the United States, with a 17 carat Golconda diamond, a ceremonial sword of the Nizams of Hyderabad and a bejewelled huqqa that sets world records, according to global auction house Christie’s report. The items included a 17 carat Golconda diamond Arcot II which was once owned by the Nawab of Arcot that has sold for $3.37 million (23.5 crore INR). The sale also includes an antique 33 diamond necklace which was once owned by the Nizams of Hyderabad and sold for nearly $2.41 million which will be around 17 crore INR, that Christie’s announced on Twitter.

400 objects from the Al Thani Collection of the Qatari royal family were under Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence auction. The Shah Jahan dagger has sold for $3375000 that sets the record of the highest value of a Shah Jahan jade object, meanwhile the Nizam’s sword was sold for $1935000 which make it the highest selling Indian sword. “Beginning with the sale announcement in April, there has been an overwhelming response to this exceptional collection with momentum building from the international tour to the New York exhibition culminating with the excitement witnessed in the saleroom.We witnessed a record total for the world’s greatest collection of Indian jewels and jewelled objects to ever be brought to auction.”

Rahul Kadakia who isthe International Head of Jewellery at Christie’s said. The gem studded huqqa set was sold for around $759000. The global auction house said in a statement that “Once in a lifetime collection, and a specially designed New York exhibition, the ‘Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence’ auction in New York achieved $109,271,875, establishing the highest total for any auction of Indian art and jewelled objects, and the second highest auction total for a private jewellery collection.” A natural pearl and diamond necklace and a diamond brooch which was made by a Mumbai based jewellery Bhagat sold for it’s high price of $1.69 million (11.8 crore INR) and $212500 (1.5 crore INR).


Mallika Sagar auctioneer for Pundole’s said “The Al Thani Collection is known to be one of the most important and comprehensive collections of Mughal jewellery and objects as well as important pieces of jewellery made over the last 200 years by leading Western jewellery houses for erstwhile Indian royalty, and of course, contemporary Indian jewellery designers. The prices achieved demonstrate the increasing attention collectors pay to provenance, history and rarity as some of these pieces are impossible to find.”

Experts said that “this sale was widely expected to set records as it was one of the most comprehensive collections of Indian royal jewellery.” “In total, 29 objects went under the auction for around $1 million.” Christie’s said. Two Indian diamonds also performed really well. The Mirror of Paradise diamond (52.58 carats) that originates from the Golconda mine, went under the auction for around $6517500. A Belle Epoque devant-de-corsage brooch from 1912 by Parisian jeweller Cartier which has a little connection to India was sold to a private collector for $10603500. “Signed pieces by Cartier and contemporary jewels by JAR and Bhagat also did well, greatly exceeding their estimates.” Christie’s said.