Christie's will hold the landmark Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence sale this week Wednesday (June 19) in New York, and it is slated to be perhaps the highest earning jewelry sale in the auction house's history. The unprecedented collection spans over 500 years of history and sovereign power on the subcontinent and will feature a comprehensive collection of nearly 400 diamonds - including the legendary Golconda Diamonds - coloured stones and the finest jewelled objects, swords and daggers.
Christie's writes that the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence tells the story of a continuous tradition of patronage from the Mughal Empire to present day, with provenance including the royal and noble families of India. Exploring the creative dialogue between India and the West, these significant historical pieces are complemented by important 20th-century creations from the houses of Bulgari, Cartier, and Mauboussin, Bhagat, and JAR. The sale is being marketed as a landmark event that’s expected to exceed the record for its most valuable jewelry auction to date, a record currently held by the Christie’s December 2011 Elizabeth Taylor sale, which totaled $144 million, according to Amy Elliot of JCK.
Also check out this series of portraits by photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank of some of fashion’s most influential women, who model pieces from the collection and talk about what these historic jewels mean to them.