Thursday 8 October 2009

Maharani Jindan Kaur's necklace auctioned at Bonham's today

And so it finally came under the hammer today and was sold for " £55,200 inclusive of Buyer's Premium".

"Lot 366" was described by Bonham's as "An important emerald and seed-pearl Necklace from the Lahore Treasury, worn by Maharani Jindan Kaur (1817-63), wife of Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab (1780–1839) Lahore, first half of the 19th Century".

You can read the Bonham's bumpf on it here and for those who want to read more their bibliography is given as:

Peter Bance, The Duleep Singhs. The Photograph Album of Queen Victoria's Maharajah, Stroud, 2004
Peter Bance, Sovereign, Squire and Rebel. Maharajah Duleep Singh, London, 2009
Christy Campbell, The Maharajah's Box, London, 2000
Patwant Singh and Jyoti M. Rai, Empire of the Sikhs. The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, London, 2008

I wonder who bought it? On the one hand it's a part of Sikh heritage and history and it would be fitting if someone of that background retained it. On the other hand, it is merely an ornament, a jewel of some value worn by someone who was leading a privileged life while there was no doubt hardship all around her. Whatever we think, this necklace will bring back memories of a special time for Sikhs and the Duleep Singh story.
[Update: see who bought it here]

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