Tete-a-Tete with Ms Surbhi on Timeless Legacy of Indian Jewellery
Saffronart is a leading international auction house and India’s most reputed, with over a hundred auctions to their credit. Recently, Ms. Usha Balakrishnan curated and organized a jewellery conference In Mumbai, where several high profile speakers were invited. Ms. Surbhi Gupta, HOD of Jewellery Design Department from JD Institute of Fashion Technology was an active participant at this conference and imbibed extensive knowledge on the history and tradition of Indian Jewellery.
Excerpts from Ms. Surbhi to understand her experience
Q : What were the core topics covered during the conference?
A : The opening topic by Ms. Usha and Mr. John revolved around Jacob, the largest diamond in India’s crown. It was initially called the Imperial, then the Victoria and finally the Jacob. They shed light on the early history of the diamond. Ms. Usha also offered a glimpse into the world of vintage Indian jewellery, known for their beautiful craftsmanship and opulence.
The next talk was by Ms. Francesca, the direct descendant of the Cartier family. She spoke of how Cartier designs have been influenced by Indian culture and how her great-grandfather Jacques Cartier designed for the Maharajas in the yesteryears. The remarkable Tutti Frutti style trademark pieces were also influenced by India and used by consumers from the West.
Hailing from the oldest living city of Banaras, Mr. Anjan shared information on a brocading technique called kimkhab and how colouristic aspects of brocade was infused into designs. These are famously known as meenakari work as of today.
Diamonds and India share a rich history. Mr. Tom and Mr. Derek emphasized on history of diamonds from the Golconda region. Further to this, the talk by Mr. Pramod projected the patronage of Golconda diamonds by monarchs and how these diamonds gained importance.
Q : As a jewellery designer, which information sparked your thoughts to a new avenue?
A : I am deeply fascinated with gemstones and the talk by Mr. Salam focused on distinctive gemstone setting, hard-stone carving and enamelling techniques. Adding to this, Ms. Susan presented rare artefacts and cut stones of the Mughal period, which was very interesting.
Q : Talking about the Legacy of Indian Jewellery, what inspired you the most from the talk sessions held at the conference?
A : The extravagant jewels of India owe their roots to the royal families. The current Maharani of Baroda, Radhikaraje Gaekwad highlighted the royal history of Baroda and how exquisite pieces of jewellery were their trademark. As an Indian, it was a moment of pride for me to know that India is a trendsetter in terms of shaping jewellery trends and Mr. Arpels delved into the exploration of these trends.
Q : One thing you would like to share with everyone?
A : Most of us are mesmerized by beautiful and unique jewellery. We are intrigued by the intricacies and details of every ornament. But, Ms. Lisa covered an integral point. She spoke about investing wisely in quality jewellery. Instead of trying to procure a handful, we must buy jewellery that matches the current trend and make your own statement.
Profile of speakers :
Usha R Balakrishnan – A jewellery historian and respected author
Francois Arpels – Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Brands & Beyond
Francesca Cartier Brickell – Direct descendant of the Cartier family
Anjan Chakraverty – Former Dean, Faculty of Visual Art, Banaras Hindu University
Derek Content – British Jewellery Historian, Dealer and Consultant
Maharani Radhikaraje Gaekwad – Baroda Royal Family
Lisa Hubbard – International Jewellery Specialist, Former Jewellery Chairman of the Americas for Sotheby’s and Current Senior Advisor to Christie’s Jewellery Department
Salam Kaoukji – Curator, The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar Islamiyyah, Kuwait
Pramod Kumar KG – Managing Director, Eka Archiving Services, New Delhi
Tom Moses – Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer, GIA
Susan Stronge – Senior Curator, Asian Department, Victoria and Albert Museum
John Zubrzycki – Writer, Journalist and Researcher
Tete-a-Tete with Ms Surbhi on Timeless Legacy of Indian Jewellery…!