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Diamond, Emerald Mughal Glasses Hit Auction Block

Oct 10, 2021 8:37 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Sotheby’s will offer two pairs of jeweled Mughal glasses at auction, expecting each set to fetch up to GBP 2.5 million ($3.4 million).

The first set, called the Halo of Light, features diamond lenses and small diamonds decorating the frame, while the second, named Gate of Paradise, contains emerald lenses in a similar frame, Sotheby’s said last week. The glasses will be the highlight of the Arts of the Islamic World & India sale, which will take place in London on October 27.

The spectacles were originally commissioned by an unknown prince in 17th-century India during the Mughal Empire. An artist fashioned them from a diamond weighing more than 200 carats and an emerald of about 300 carats. The diamond lenses, which are flawless, are thought to be derived from the Golconda mines. The two lenses together weigh 25 carats. The other pair was shaped from Colombian emeralds and weighs 27 carats. The set has remained in the same collection for nearly half a century, and has never been offered at auction or displayed in a public viewing, Sotheby’s noted.

Prior to the sale, the auction house will display both at public exhibitions in Hong Kong and London.

“These extraordinary curiosities bring together myriad threads — from the technical mastery of the cutter and the genius craftsmanship to the vision of a patron who chose to fashion two pairs of eyeglasses quite unlike anything ever seen before,” said Edward Gibbs, chairman of Sotheby’s Middle East and India. “They are undoubtedly a marvel for gemologists and historians alike, and it is a real thrill to be able to bring these treasures to light and to offer the world the opportunity to wonder at their brilliance and the mystery behind their creation.”

Image: The Mughal spectacles. (Sotheby’s)
Tags: Arts of the Islamic World & India, diamond, Edward Gibbs, emerald, Gate of Paradise, Golconda mines, Halo of Light, Hong Kong, london, Mughal Glasses, Rapaport News, Sotheby’s
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