Mughal Era Bejeweled Glasses Set to Fetch Up to $ 3.5 Million at Auction | The powerful 790 KFGO
LONDON (Reuters) – Two pairs of Mughal-era jeweled glasses set with diamond and emerald lenses are expected to fetch up to $ 3.5 million each at their auction in London on Wednesday.
The glasses were commissioned by an unknown 17th-century prince, the Sotheby’s auction house said, with the gemstone glasses believed to stimulate spiritual enlightenment.
One pair, named “Gate of Paradise”, features emerald lenses set in diamond-set frames. The second, called “Halo of Light”, has diamond lenses set in diamond-mounted frames. The glasses date from the 17th century while the frames date from the 19th century.
“There are so many stories behind these shows. Emeralds came from Colombia in the 17th century via Portuguese merchant ships to the Mughal Empire, the Mughals worshiped precious stones, ”Alexandra Roy, specialist in Islamic world arts at Sotheby’s, told Reuters.
“The diamonds came from the Golconda mines (in India) and at the Mughal court, they were cleaved with stones that would have originally weighed two to three hundred carats… They have been reshaped in their current mode of spectacle of the nineteenth century .
Both pairs are on sale at Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World & India sale on Wednesday, with a price estimate of 1.5 million to 2.5 million pounds ($ 2 million – $ 3.4 million).
“We have to be extremely careful about where the lots come from, we have actually known these glasses for a very long time, since the 1980s,” Roy said.
“They go through a rigorous internal due diligence before we can offer them for sale. They have been reviewed by historians and therefore have already been published in academia. This is the first time that we have offered them for sale but among academia they are well known.
($ 1 = 0.7272 pounds)
(Reporting by Ben Makori; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Angus MacSwan)