Yamini Telkar shares a note on a talk Meera Kumar gave on Jewelry Traditions of India held recently at Saffronart Delhi in conjunction with the exhibition, Indian Period Jewelry
New Delhi: Meera Kumar, a petite but vivacious woman, recently gave an impassioned talk on traditions of jewelry in India. The occasion was the opening of the Exhibition of Period Indian Jewelry at Saffronart Delhi on April 11, 2013. Read more about the exhibition in this review by The Jewellery Editor.
For the talk, it was a full house, and the audience listened enthralled as Meera took them through a journey exploring the splendors of Indian jewelry. She set the scene by vividly narrating a story from the court of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir as described by Sir Thomas Roe, an English Ambassador. She said that the descriptions of the jewelry in such accounts was not an exaggerated version of the exotic East but a reality.
The exquisite miniature paintings she used to illustrate her talk reiterated the magnificence of the jewelry she described in all their details. The sighs from the audience, both men and women, spoke of the unparalleled beauty of the pieces.
What was interesting was that all through Meera’s talk, she laid emphasis on the skill of the artists who created the pieces and not on the carat weight of the diamonds or emeralds they used. But of course, it is needless to say that for some of the pieces she described, the sheer size was what brought out the collective ‘oohs’ from the audience!
Meera spoke of the lyrical quality that went into the making of a piece, and explained in brief the various techniques that were involved in this process. She also brought to notice that jewelry was not limited to bodily adornments but extended to objects, which included mundane things like writing instruments and spoons. However, what surpassed all the pieces she showed, in sheer scale and spectacle, was the Peacock Throne, whose current location is unknown. The descriptions of the emeralds, rubies diamonds and pearls that adorned it, which she read out had everyone gasping in awe.
The talk was so engaging that it seemed it got over far too soon!