“Adornment and Splendour: Jewels of the Indian Courts” by Salam Kaouji

Wednesday 20th September 2023 08:31 EDT

A complete catalogue, “Adornment and Splendour: Jewels of the Indian Courts” is an extraordinary collection of Indian jewellery and opulent jewelled artefacts created during the height of the Mughal Empire and Deccan Sultanates. Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussa al-Sabah have put together the collection, which is recognised as one of the best in the world, for the al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait. It showcases the elegance, diversity, and beauty of Indian jewellery arts.

All-in-one guide for historical jewelleries to gemstones  

Encompassed in six chapters, from the historical overview of Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent to the traditions of luxury, the book gives an understanding of each and every item in a proper and detailed form. Since ancient times, expert jewellers have created the most intricate jewellery on earth using a variety of distinctive techniques. These artisans' astounding vision and talent are displayed in the exotic birds and creatures, flowers, trees, and legendary scenarios they have crafted out of precious gemstones, gold, and enamel.

In addition to an unrivalled selection of jewellery to adorn the body, they also created ritual and household items of astounding refinement and luxury, as well as extravagantly large, engraved gemstones to serve as symbols of their princely patrons' royal power, such as a spinel that was proven to be the fabled Timur Ruby and weighed close to 250 carats.

Myths dispelled with a wealth of information

The book's scrupulous attention to detail is one of its most laudable qualities. The author carefully dispels the myths surrounding the methods of creation, components, and significant meaning present in numerous pieces of jewellery. Readers are given access to a wealth of information that heightens their admiration for these gorgeous adornments, from the ethereal elegance of filigree work to the mystical significance of particular gemstones.

This volume contains several previously undiscovered kinds that broaden our awareness of the region's artistic output, in addition to the greatest and most priceless works in the collection, some of which will be familiar to collectors and others of which are presented here for the first time. More than 300 jewelled objects can be viewed in previously unheard-of new ways thanks to specifically commissioned photographs. For the readers' better understanding, there is a small description of the design and proportions next to each shot.

The narrative style of the book is both interesting and engrossing, keeping readers of many interests and backgrounds enthralled. The book's anecdotes and historical narratives add life to the subject, making it interesting and approachable for both experts and beginners. This is a publication of historic importance and beauty for all lovers of jewellery, the arts of India, and the arts of the Islamic world.

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