Indian design house Good Earth has tied up with Christie’s auction house in London for a unique partnership for a major exhibition-sale this week.
The ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’ auction features paintings from Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s court in Punjab to his wife Maharani Jindan Kaur’s jewellery as part of over 200 lots, including rare sets of paintings depicting the life of Lord Krishna as well as an intricately handwoven silk shawl, priced between £20,000 and 30,000.
Anita Lal, Founder and Creative Director of Good Earth, said: “The lots that I have selected have enchanted me. The opulent and sumptuous carpets and rugs; the inspirational designs and techniques and the noble provenance across the sale are a reminder of our rich cultural past.
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“For me the value lies only in an object’s visual and emotional appeal, and I treasure things from the smallest handmade ceramic vase to a grand sculpture or an carpet and I mix them all together.”
The special Good Earth gallery showcasing this mix of tradition and modernity includes Maharani Jindan Kaur’s diamond and emerald-set enamelled gold bazuband (arm band), dating back to the first half of the 19th century and priced between £80,000 and 120,000.
“This is a bazuband that reuses an emerald stone, which is from a much earlier period – probably 17th century,” said William Robinson, International Head of World Art at Christie’s.
“These techniques are developed over centuries and it’s one of the sad things in a way today where we want things now, we want it immediate… at that time something that took 10 years to create would have been prized for a lifetime,” he said.
Robinson’s highlights from the Indian art on display are a pair of paintings by celebrated Bishan Singh – ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Durbar’, priced between £120,000 and 150,000, and ‘The Amritsar Municipal Committee’ set in 19th century Punjab and priced between £60,000 and 80,000.
“The artist is known for his pictures of [ ruler] Ranjit Singh and here is a variant not seen before. His portraiture on this scale is fantastic, with very strong colouring typical of this period,” added Robinson.
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The other lots in the auction range from an Agra Carpet with Mughal “shrub” design, unique for its stylised floral setting mirroring those carved in marble and in-layed with precious stones on the Taj Mahal, and a range of Pahari miniatures.
The ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including Oriental Rugs and Carpets’ comprises 211 lots in total, with examples of works of art across manuscripts, paintings, ceramics, metalwork and carpets dating from the 9th to 19th century, and with estimates ranging from £2,000 to £2,500,000.