UK: An important 19 th Century emerald and seed-pearl Necklace from the Lahore Treasury, worn by Maharani Jindan Kaur wife of Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Lion of the Punjab (1780–1839), is for sale in Bonhams next Indian and Islamic sale on 8th October 2009 in New Bond Street.
The necklace has six polished emerald beads, one later converted to a pendant, each bead gold-mounted and fringed with seed-pearl drop tassels, fastened with a gold clasp. It comes with a fitted cloth covered case, the inside of the lid inscribed: “From the Collection of the Court of Lahore formed by HH The Maharajah Runjeet Singh & lastly worn by Her Highness The Late Maharanee Jeddan Kower” It is estimated to sell for £25,000-35,000., according to Bonhams, one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Founded in 1793, the present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK.
This rare necklace comes from the Collection of Maharajah Ranjit Singh and Maharani Jindan Kaur (1817-63), which was sold by Frazer and Hawes from Garrards, Regent Street, London.
Between 1849 and 1850, when the British took control of the court in Lahore, they entered the Treasury, where they found the court jewels wrapped in cloth. The Treasury was fabled to be the greatest and largest treasure ever found. The most famous and well-known jewels were looted away from Sikhs and presented as gifts to Queen Victoria, including the Koh-i Noor and the Timur Ruby.