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September 20, 2021 at 12:00:00 AM
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Two eyeglasses from the Mughal era expected to be sold for $7 million
Two pairs of glasses originally belonging to royals in the Mughal Empire in 17th century are expected to fetch millions of dollars at auction next month. The jewel-encrusted spectacles, which feature lenses made from diamond and emerald rather than glass. Designed to help the wearer reach enlightenment and ward off evil, they are set to go on public display for the first time ever as they tour New York, Hong Kong and London ahead of the October sale. The spectacles are an exceptionally rare example of Mughal jewelry craftsmanship, according to chairman of Sotheby's Middle East and India, Edward Gibbs. "As far as we know, there are no others like them," he said in a phone interview to the CNN. The items' rarity is also down to the sheer size of their gemstone lenses. The lenses in one pair, known as the "Halo of Light" spectacles, are believed to have been cleaved from a single 200-carat diamond found in Golconda, a region in the present-day Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. (Sotheby's estimates the original diamond was "possibly the largest ever found.") The green lenses of the second pair, dubbed the "Gate of Paradise," are meanwhile believed to have been cut from a Colombian emerald weighing over 300 carats.
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