Nita Ambani dons Emperor Shah Jahan’s INR2 billion jewellery | The Express Tribune


Nita Ambani once again graced an event bedecked in a treasure trove of exquisite jewels, with the spotlight on a Mughal-era kalgi turned bazuband, originally belonging to Emperor Shah Jahan, as per reports by Indian media. The adornment, worn as a hand ornament, stole the limelight at the Miss World 2024 pageant where Ambani was honoured with the ‘Beauty with Purpose Humanitarian Award.’ As reported by Bollywood Shaadis, the bazuband is worth a whopping INR2 billion.

Many Indian portals took the word of Pramod Kumar KG, Managing Director of a Delhi-based museum consulting company, who took to his Instagram page, highlighting the historical roots and craftsmanship of the piece. In his post on Topophilia India, he penned, “Shah Jahan, son of Jahangir Shah, proudly proclaim the pair of inscribed spinels highlighting this sarpech (turban ornament); last seen publicly at the Al Thani Collection before being divested at auction in 2019.”

He continued, “In 2017, ‘From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from the Al Thani Collection’ exhibition was mounted at Grand Palais, Paris. I had contributed an essay for the exhibition catalogue titled ‘Tropes of Kingship’ on bejewelled heraldic pieces that mark the personhood of sovereigns. This sleek sarpech was one such imperial accoutrement featured. While the headpiece in its current form seems to have been made in the last quarter of the 19th century (c.1875-1900), the highlights are the two inscribed spinels. Their age, if the inscriptions are of the time, read – ’12 / Shah Jahan ibn Jahangir Shah / 1049’. The date in the Islamic calendar corresponds to a 17th-century date (1639-40). These two separate spinels, possibly dynastic jewels were added onto one piece in the 19th century to create this sarpech. Makes one wonder which Indian Princely State treasury had several inscribed spinels to go around!”

The post went on to read, “At a height of 13.7 cm and 19.8 cm wide, the piece is made of gold and set with diamonds, rubies, and spinels, using the Pachhikakaam technique adopted by Indian jewellers attempting to mimic European claw setting. The lowest register of 12 suspended diamonds is set in the Western style. The true versatility of Indian jewels however comes from its adaptability into myriad forms and contexts. A sarpech repurposed as a bazuband or armband is still as magnificent. Besides being back in India, what’s great is that it is back to adorn the human form and away from a glass vitrine. The Mughal artefact, now repurposed as a bazuband, boasts inscribed spinels with Shah Jahan’s proclamation, adding historical significance to its already staggering value.”



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