conference curator and leading jewellery historian
Few are aware of how vast and deep the field of Indian jewellery is. The conference was intended, in some small measure, to fulfil a pressing need to open this area to discussion, thought and debate and bring the knowledge of this legacy to the public sphere. It revealed the many dimensions of jewellery in India from some of the most respected scholars and experts in the world. From the kharkhanas of the Mughals to the toshkhanas of maharajas, and from the mines of Golconda to the by-lanes of Benaras, the talks explored the history of diamonds, and the distinctive vocabulary of Indian jewellery, and jewelled accoutrements. [The seminar covered] the cultural encounters between India and the iconic luxury houses Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels from the very scions of the family, and the great jewellery sales of the century.