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Jewel-Encrusted Spectacles

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July 10, 2023
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Jahangir II 1920-1948

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      The 17th century jewel-encrusted spectacles with lenses made from diamond and emerald, believed to have originally belonged to the royals in the Mughal Empire, hold historical significance and represent the opulence and grandeur of the Mughal court. The Mughal Empire, which spanned from the 16th to the 19th century, was a powerful empire that ruled over a significant portion of the  subcontinent.

 

    During the Mughal era, the emperors and nobility were known for their love of luxury, including exquisite jewelry and precious gemstones. The Mughal emperors had a keen interest in acquiring rare and valuable gemstones, which were considered a symbol of wealth, power, and status.

 

      Colombian emeralds, known for their exceptional quality and intense green color, were highly sought after during that period. These emeralds were considered to be some of the finest in the world, and their rarity and beauty made them highly prized possessions. The Mughal rulers had a penchant for acquiring such magnificent gemstones and incorporating them into their elaborate jewelry and accessories.

 

      The "Gate of Paradise" spectacles, with lenses made from a Colombian emerald weighing over 300 carats, would have been an extraordinary and unique creation. The emerald, being of such size, magnitude, and value, would undoubtedly have caught the attention of the Mughal court. It is likely that the emerald was acquired through trade or as a gift from foreign dignitaries, as the Mughal Empire had extensive diplomatic and commercial connections with various regions.

 

       The Mughal emperors and nobles often commissioned highly skilled craftsmen and artisans to create exquisite pieces of jewelry and accessories. These craftsmen were known for their intricate and detailed work, incorporating precious gemstones like diamonds and emeralds into their creations. The jewel-encrusted spectacles would have been a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of the Mughal artisans and the empire's wealth and sophistication.

 

       The spectacles would have been a prized possession, worn by members of the royal family or high-ranking nobles on special occasions or as a display of their status and refinement. They would have been regarded as a symbol of power, prestige, and discerning taste.

 

       Today, these spectacles serve as a historical artifact, offering a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle and artistic achievements of the Mughal Empire. They represent a convergence of remarkable gemstones, skilled craftsmanship, and the cultural and historical heritage of the Indian subcontinent. The "Gate of Paradise" spectacles, with their diamond and emerald lenses, stand as a testament to the magnificence and splendor of the Mughal court.

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

MUGHAL IMAGES

The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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