Going Back To The Mughals

Updated: Jan 26 2003, 05:30am hrs
Delhiites get ready to relive, revive and recreate a leaf from history as Mughal or period jewellery seems to be the new flavour with designers.

Last week, Janhavi Duggal, a Delhi-based jewellery designer, brought out a unique collection inspired by legendary women like Noorjehan, Empress Josephine, and Princess Grace. Princess SojournHaute Joallierie Collection 2003, as it is called, is truly a couture collection, which could easily pass off as the collectors items. For these are not out of the coffers of erstwhile royal houses, but rather emulated to perfection by the designer herself.

Says Ms Janhavi, Those women were beautiful, independent and pursued their own paths and their jewellery reflected their personalities. She goes on to add that each of these women has left an enduring style statement, that is worth recreating.

Noorjehan wore jewellery that had polki (uncut diamonds), kundan and minakari work on them. Besides uncut diamonds, rubies and sapphires were also used for inlay, informs the designer.

The Josephine collection, on the other hand, is a period collection. European in design, it uses art-deco, a very Victorian style. Says Ms Janhavi, For this style, I have used ruby lite, emeralds, rose cut diamonds, yellow and pink diamonds.

The Princess Grace of Monacco collection symbolises the contemporary, modern look with a lot of colour diamonds like yellow and black.

The effort is to give a living and breathing rendition of those ages in the form of precious metals and beautifully inlaid stones.

The Princess Sojourn is an exclusive, one of its kind collection that brings an era left behind alive. It is truly a tribute to the royalty and all its avatars.

But, if you are one of those who buys jewellery to flaunt it, then this chunky and bright coloured collection is meant for you. On the other hand, if you are one of those who preserve jewellery for posterity, then go for it, by all means. Most importantly, you have to be a savant to appreciate this sort of jewellery.

Most of the pieces are upwards of Rs 1,00,000, the highest being Rs 4,50,000. Ms Janhavi is retailing her collection through her showroom in Greater Kailash, N-Block Market, New Delhi.

Roopa Vohra who is also known for her Thewa brand of jewellery has now revived the Mughal technique called naquashi. She has taken this technique forward by applying it to her jewellery line called, Naquashi From Delhi.

Mughal jewellery is intricate and uniform. Says the designer, Its all about patronage. These pieces are very exquisite. While naquashi retains this quality, it was essentially the Mughal tradition of etching on marble or wood. But now naquashi has been extended to glass and gold by Ms Vohra. This is an effort at reviving a dying art form, says the designer.

What is different is that naquashi as an art form never existed in jewellery manufacturing, even though the basic technique applied is age old. As the name suggests, this collection is derived from Delhis monuments.

Says Ms Vohra, Naquashi From Delhi is for people with rich tastes and know the worth of an exquisite piece of art. This new line is hand-crafted and has 24 carat relief work on glass with semi-precious beads.

The naquashi pieces are priced upwards of Rs 1,100 and is being retailed out of Shoppers Stop, Pantaloon, Crossroads, and Trensmith. A couture designer by profession, Ms Vohra does not believe in making jewellery that eventually finds its way to the safes, thus hardly seeing the light of the day. I believe in making jewellery that is wearable and beautiful at the same time, says the designer.