Lot 48

Designed with polki diamonds in two rows of kundan-work, with one row being in leaf motifs. The inner edge enamelled with pink and white flower buds with green leaves. Both the outer edges are in green enamel.

Gross weight: 115.68 grams

Provenance: Property of a Descendant of the Mangaldas family

Gulabi meenakari or enamelling, called so for its pleasing shades of pink, originated in Benaras (Varanasi). The technique was introduced by a Persian enameller in the 17th century. The city, long famed as one of the oldest and holiest cities of India, with a history dating to five thousand years ago, had by then come under the reign of the Nawabs of Oudh. They supported their artisans and helped them master and refine the technique.

The pink enamelling is made by finely grinding red enamel with rose oil, and applying this onto a white ground. The liquid enamel would then be fired in a kiln to fuse it to the white. Prior to this, the enameller would have applied four layers of various pigments, and fired the ornament each time, building up the layers. The procedure may sound deceptively simple, but to elevate it to a form of art, the enameller would first engrave the parts which had to be filled with enamel, and then apply multiple layers to achieve a beautiful gradation. The engraving tools, and the brushes used to paint, would have to be very finely tipped to fill in details in a small space.

As with enamelling traditions from other regions, Benarasi or gulabi meenakari commonly includes floral motifs such as chrysanthemums, lotuses and rosebuds on the reverse of the jewelled ornament.

Other similar works in: this auction  |  entire site

  Lot 48 of 174  

15-16 OCTOBER 2019

$6,790 - 8,215
Rs 4,75,000 - 5,75,000

Winning Bid
Rs 7,36,000
(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)


Need help? Please check our guides on How to Bid. Auction Tips and FAQs.Email auction@saffronart.com, newyork@saffronart.com, london@saffronart.com, delhi@saffronart.com Tel: +91 22 6855 4100 / 6855 4155 (Mumbai), (212) 627 5006 (New York), 44 (0) 20 7409 7974 (london), (91 11) 2436 9415 (New Delhi)