India is an eight-thousand-year-old civilization. Starting from the Indus Valley civilization to modern India we know today, one thing that has stayed constant in the Indian subcontinent from the earliest times is the appreciation for art. India has produced some of the most precious artifacts and antiques in the world. In this article, we have discussed eight world-famous Indian antiques that are rare and magnificent! Some of these artefacts are so prestigious that they are deemed invaluable. So, keep reading to find out all about the eight most exciting Indian antiques that are famous internationally!
1.The Kohinoor Diamond
One of the largest cut diamonds in the world, Kohinoor, weighs 105.6 carats. It is a part of the Crown Jewels of Britain. The diamond is currently mounted in the Queen Mother’s crown.
There is no information on the initial weight of this gemstone, which was possibly mined in India’s Kollur Mine during the Kakatiya dynasty, but the earliest well-attested weight is 186 carats. It was then acquired by Sultan Alauddin Khilji and was also a part of Akbar’s peacock throne.
The diamond is currently on public display in the Tower of London’s Jewel House. Since India’s independence from the UK in 1947, the governments of India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan have all asserted ownership of the Kohinoor and asked for its return. The accusations were denied by the British government, which maintains that the gem was acquired lawfully under the provisions of the Last Treaty of Lahore. Thus, the Kohinoor diamond has a long and contentious history, which makes it one of the most famous antiques not only in India but the world!
2. The Mughal Star Lattice Carpet
The North Indian Pashmina wool carpet dates to the 18th century and is 12.9 feet by 13.6 feet in size. A golden latticework design of interlocking 12-point stars surrounds symmetrical clusters of jasmine and lotus blossoms, which contrasts with the rich scarlet background. There were just 12 millefleur (a thousand flowers) rugs made during that time period. It is referred to as “the most magnificent of all ornamental carpets” by experts and antiquarians. The exquisite Mughal artistry of Agra jail carpets and rugs is preserved in this piece. Truly, this is one of the best Mughal carpets to ever exist!
3. Jahangir ‘Wine Cup’ Gold Mohur
Akbar’s Rajput queen, Princess Jodhabai of Amber, bore Akbar’s son, Jahangir. Jahangir’s passion for wine is beautifully demonstrated by the Jahangir Mohur. The coin has the king on the throne. He is seen sitting cross-legged and holding a wine goblet with pride. It demonstrates Jahangir’s love of wine while also possibly illustrating his contempt for Islamic teachings that expressly forbid alcohol and wine!
Jahangir used to enjoy experimenting with his coins and gave them a lot of thought. Possession of these coins must have been highly trendy at the time. Jahangir’s gold zodiac mohurs like this are incredibly uncommon. Thus, the coin is valued at $150,000 and accounts for one of the rarest mohurs from India.
4. The Pearl Carpet of Baroda
The Maharaja of Baroda ordered the Pearl Carpet of Baroda in 1865 for the Prophet Muhammad’s shrine at Medina, Saudi Arabia. This magnificent tapestry shines like jewellery due to its amazing attention to detail. This particular artwork is exceptional because of its base of silk and lovely deer hide, as well as the millions of Basra pearls, rubies, emeralds, and other precious stones. It is one of the most esteemed displays of Indian hand-knotted rug workmanship.
The pricey Pearl Carpet of Barodra was purchased for 5.5 million dollars by an unidentified bidder in a Sotheby’s auction. It is now on display in Qatar’s National Museum. All this talk of exquisite carpets makes you yearn for one? Instead of searching for rugs and carpets shops near me just browse our curated collection of hand-knotted carpets and order one at the comforts of your home!
5. The Dancing Girl of Mohenjodaro
One of the finest creations from the Mohenjodaro artisans is “The Dancing Girl.” The bronze idol dates back to around 2500 BCE and is part of the Indus Valley Civilization. It has a height of 10.5 cm, a width of 5 cm, and a depth of 2.5 cm. It is currently on display in the National Museum of New Delhi’s Indus Valley Civilization gallery.
Although there is no proof that she is dancing, she was given the label “Dancing Girl” because of her stance in the sculpture. Crafted with the lost-wax technique, the sculpture is one of the oldest expressions of art from the Indian subcontinent; therefore, it is deemed invaluable.
6. In the Ladies Enclosure, Painting by Amrita Shergill
After selling for a staggering 37.8 crore at Saffronart’s last summer live auction, In the Ladies’ Enclosure by renowned Indo-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil, which broke a world record for the artist’s greatest valuation at auction, became the second most expensive Indian work of art ever sold.
The painting, which depicts a group of ladies engaged in a variety of occupations in a field, was created on the artist’s family estate near Gorakhpur. This painting is surely a gem from India’s modern painting tradition.
7. An Imperial Mughal Spinel Necklace
This is a necklace with a yellow gold link backchain and eleven polished spinels totalling 1,131.59 carats, which were most likely set in the 19th century. The engravings are on three of the spinels; one with the three names of emperor Jahangir, emperor Shah Jahan, and emperor Alamgir, also known as Aurangzeb, and two with the name of emperor Jahangir. These spinels were prized as protective talismans as well as being a representation of the splendour and majesty of the Mughal empire.
An emperor’s name inscribed on a gemstone with his lineage and dates was a tribute to the stone’s remarkable beauty and bestowed upon it respect and imperial dignity. As it was passed down from father to son, it occasionally had the names of several emperors inscribed on it. This rare necklace was one such antique from India, valued at $2.5 million.
8. The Veiled Rebecca
The most famous item in the Salarjung Museum is the Veiled Rebecca. This statue of the Biblical Rebecca was created with white marble in 1876 by the Italian sculptor GB Benzoni. The veil is remarkable because it covers Rebecca’s face so lightly that it almost passes for gauze, yet it is made of solid stone. The Veiled Rebecca is the centrepiece of the modest gallery in which she is located with other marble statues. This statue is a stunning antique that has received considerable international attention, thus making it to our list of world-famous Indian antiques.
To sum up, India has always had a rich sense of art and craft. Thus, the country has an innumerable number of antiques that are housed in the nation’s museums and art galleries or in the possession of individual collectors. The above-mentioned antiques are the ones that are most talked about and have been the subject of debate for quite some time. While some of these, like the Kohinoor and the Mughal Star Lattice carpet, are not in the possession of India anymore, they are still an important part of Indian history.
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