Book Review: A Royal Collection Of Gems And Jewels – This very special limited edition has been designed like a jewel box for one of the most precious books Assouline has ever published. The clamshell case, constructed of one piece of shaped wood, is covered and lined with velvet and has a magnetic closure.
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The book in its clamshell are inserted into a box printed blue and gold to reflect the brocade cover, and the carton is lined with foam to prevent shipping damage.
A specially dyed ribbon has been embedded in the base of the clamshell to carefully lift the book from its storage.
The brocade for the hardcover of this special limited edition is handwoven in India from indigo-colored silk and gold metallic threads, reflecting the traditional Tibetan artistic palette, to create a dynamically rich fabric worthy of a maharaja.
This pattern and type of textile has an ancient history, yet the techniques were nearly lost 200 years ago, when the Tibetan region became inaccessible to outsiders due to geopolitical tensions. In the 1930s, a Russian came to Varanasi desiring to re-create these traditional Tibetan brocades. As this type of work is extremely complex, only one master weaver agreed to undertake the project.
Inside The Book
This book will awaken a new understanding of the diverse tradition of Indian jewelry through pieces that span more than four hundred years. Assembled with a passion for gems and a love of Indian craftsmanship, each item sheds light on the evolution of style and technique in court jewelry from the peak of the Mughal imperial patronage, the rich commissions of Maharajas under the British Raj, the celebrated Indian commissions of Cartier, to the inventive creations of the 21st century.
Key pieces include a carved jade dagger hilt owned by Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal; a group of engraved imperial Mughal spinels; a collection of enameled objects from Hyderabad, the Arcot II diamond and Taj Mahal emerald; a choker made by Cartier for the Maharaja of Patiala, as well as stunning contemporary creations by JAR and Bhagat using historic Indian stones.
Very limited edition: only 100 copies.
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