Indian jewellery has a rich history and the longest legacy of jewellery making. It has enjoyed a continuous evolution for some 5000 years, and now, Antique Indian jewellery is considered as rare and unique. The elaborate designs of the jewellery are influenced by socio-cultural and political factors and often have heavy embellishments with enchanting and captivating craftsmanship.
Below is a quick look into the legacy of Indian antique jewellery and the intricate royal art of this jewellery making.
- Gulabi Meenakari
Gulabi Meenakari is a form of jewellery craftsmanship which was brought to the city of Varanasi by Persian enamellists and is one of the rarest crafts in India. It was introduced in the 17th century during the Mughal era and is known for its signature pink colour obtained from rose (Gulab). The bold and bright pink is laid on a white enamel foundation. It often takes about 3 to 6 months to complete the intricate craft depending on the complexity of the art. The jewellery pieces are adorned with precious gemstones to give it a daring charm that modern jewellery fails to achieve. Meenakari art is popularly of three forms – Ek Rang Khula Meena, Panch Rangi Meena, Gulabi Meena.
Tarakashi is an elaborate silver filigree work that is a kind of intricate and sophisticated metalwork. It originated from the Cuttack city of Odisha in the eastern part of India more than 500 years ago and is traditionally crafted by local artisans with patience, precision and skilled handwork. Various figurines made with Tarakashi style are in high demand apart from ornaments. Tarakashi jewellery is a result of detailed and elaborate metalwork that blows the mind of the beholder with its delicate yet bold beauty.
Now let’s travel to Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan where Thewa art emerged. The word Thewa is a word of the local Rajasthani language which means “setting”. Nathu Lal Soni initiated this art in 1707 and is the only family doing the Thewa work. The art of making Thewa jewellery involves fusing the gold sheet on molten glass and is a craft of Mughal era. Multicoloured glass is used to make the jewellery bright and colourful. The gold sheet has intricate works which act as a frame for molten glass. This detailed and time-consuming art is an example of the fine craftsmanship of Indian heritage.
- Bidri Work
Bidri work is a type of metal handicraft from Bidar developed in the 14th century C.E. during the rule of Bahamani sultans. Its techniques and styles are influenced by Persian art and were first brought in the form of utensils. It’s characterised by bright silver inlay artwork done manually. The metal used in Bidri work is a blackened alloy of zinc and copper inlaid with thin sheets of pure silver. It’s complicated, and intricate patterns in silver are the main charm of the jewellery. The Bidri jewellery is a good option if you want to have a change from the gold jewellery yet keeping it traditional.
- Temple Jewellery
Temple jewellery originated during the reign of Chola and Pandya dynasty, in the 9th century, primarily involved depictions of Gods and Goddesses from the temples in South India sculpted in gold and silver. Most of it is crafted in Nagercoil city of Tamil Nadu although it originated in Thanjavur. The base metal used here is gold and designs often include peacock, lotus apart from God and Goddesses. This vibrant and heavily sculpted art is something that symbolises the wealthiest tradition of South India.
The mesmerising and enchanting heritage of Indian traditional jewellery is a thing of beauty that everyone should at least enjoy once in their lifetime. These are India’s royal art forms that have flourished through the years becoming more and more valuable with the time and thereby reflecting the purity and hard work of the talented craftsman. Today, these traditional jewellery holds an essential place in bridal jewellery collection as well. ANS, the best gold, silver, diamond, and platinum jewellery in Salem has a rich traditional jewellery collection not only of gold but also of diamonds, silver, and platinum. Check them out now!