India has been a continuous source of inspiration for the world’s leading jewellery designers, including Cartier, Harry Winston, and of course, Van Cleef & Arpels. Few are aware that the most famous jewels in the world, such as the Orlov and Hope Diamond, either originate from or trace their design roots to India. In an effort to initiate dialogue on India’s rich and complex design heritage, and the art and history of adornment, Saffronart is organising an interdisciplinary conference, The Timeless Legacy of Indian Jewels, from 6 – 8 October 2017.
The inaugural jewellery conference is the first of its scale to be held in India, and one of Saffronart’s Dialogues in Art series. Several high-profile speakers will discuss the history and tradition of jewellery in the context of art, literature, culture and fashion, in India and globally.
Minal Vazirani, President and Co-founder of Saffronart said, “Through Timeless Legacy, Saffronart ties in the history of collecting some of the most important jewels around the world, to their South Asian origin and a larger Indian context. The conference is the first of this scale in India and offers a chance to gain invaluable insight into this history through images and select jewels on exhibition, and through interactions with leading global experts from the field. We want to encourage people to view this legacy through a new lens, one that transcends narratives, geography and time, and places India at the centre of the discussion.”
The Timeless Legacy of Indian Jewels is curated by Dr. Usha R Balakrishnan, a leading jewellery historian and reputed author. “From the mines of Golconda to the treasuries of maharajas, the magical world of Indian jewels stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul,” said Dr. Balakrishnan. “We hope that we can inspire others to see and appreciate this vast cultural legacy through Saffronart’s inaugural jewellery conference for, as timeless objects of desire, the power of gems keeps memories alive.”
Speakers include François Arpels, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Brands & Beyond; Anjan Chakraverty, Artist, Art Historian and Former Dean, Faculty of Visual Art, Banaras Hindu University; Derek Content, British Jewellery Historian, Dealer, and Consultant, London; Maharani Radhika Raje Gaekwad, from the Baroda Royal Family; Lisa Hubbard, International Jewellery Specialist, former Jewellery Chairman of the Americas for Sotheby’s, and current Senior Advisor to Christie’s Jewellery Department; Salam Kaoukji, Curator, The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait; Pramod Kumar KG, Managing Director, Éka Archiving Services, New Delhi; Tom Moses, Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer, Gemological Institute of America, Susan Stronge, Senior Curator, Asian Department, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and John Zubrzycki, Journalist, Researcher, and Author of The Last Nizam: An Indian Prince in the Australian Outback (2006), Australia.
The conference highlights Saffronart’s efforts to support the arts through discussion, research and market-based initiatives. Saffronart leads the global auction market for Modern and Contemporary Indian art, and is a pioneer in jewellery auctions. First introduced in 2008, these jewellery auctions include high quality, standout pieces that showcase designs rooted in India’s cultural past. A private exhibition of jewellery from 9 – 14 October 2017 will include pieces that tie in to the conference, providing a visual timeline of India’s design history.