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News 18
September 26, 2021 at 12:00:00 AM
Mughal-era Eyeglasses That 'Ward Off Evil' Up For Auction at Sotheby's For Over Rs 25 Crore

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Mughal-era Eyeglasses That 'Ward Off Evil' Up For Auction at Sotheby's For Over Rs 25 Crore

Two pairs of ornate Mughal-era eyeglasses, called ‘Gate of Paradise’ and ‘Halo of Light’, are now going up for sale at Sotheby’s. Belonging to the High Mughal period, the eyeglasses were designed to “ward off evil" and were said to bestow enlightenment upon the wearer. With this mythical quality to them, Sotheby’s has set an asking price of $3.5 million (Rs 25,79,93,753). Times Now reported that the ancient pieces are encrusted with jewels, with one of them having emerald lenses and the other having diamond lenses. The two pairs will be up for sale at Sotheby’s upcoming Arts of the Islamic World and India auction, which will take place in London on October 27. In a video shared by Sotheby’s on YouTube, writer and historian William Dalrymple describes the process of how the eyeglasses were cleaved. Made from some of the most valued diamonds and emeralds of the Mughal era, the eyeglasses had been commissioned by a Mughal Emperor. In the caption to the video, Sotheby’s mentioned that they were made not just for practical purposes, “but to signify one of the greatest periods of gemstone connoisseurship". According to the Times Now report, the ‘Gate of Paradise’ was cut from a Colombian emerald that weighs over 300 carats, while the ‘Halo of Light’ is carved from a single Golconda diamond that weights 200 carats. They were monumental in Islamic and Indic tradition and endowed with spiritual connotations. Ahead of going up for auction, they can now be seen on display tours in London, Hong Kong and New York. Dalrymple terms the spectacles an extraordinary and unique piece of history. A Frieda Kahlo self-portrait is also going up for sale at Sotheby’s and is expected to smash auction records, according to a report by The Guardian. The 1949 painting titled Diego y yo (Diego and I) has an estimate in excess of $30 million. Apart from that, it is also offering for sale a hand-me-down belonging to Swedish royals. Sotheby’s tweeted of it: “…a stunning 19th century pearl and diamond necklace, originally gifted by Empress Josephine Bonapart, has been featured in Royal portraits, including one of Queen Josephine of Sweden. To be offered soon in Hong Kong".
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