Story behind the 55-carat Indian gemstone: Auction in London on April 26
London, March 30: A 55-carat Indian gemstone, a ruby-red spinel, would be auctioned at Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World sale in London on April 26.
There is an interesting story behind the ruby-red spinel. The ruby is in the size of a walnut hanging on a golden chain with a tassel of seed pearls. During the 1920s, according to a cutting from a local paper in Pennsylvania, two children in Leicestershire used to played with this magnificent Indian gem, reports the Guardian.
The ruby it is engraved 400 years ago in minute Persian script with the names of three Indian emperors. The Indian gem will come up for auction at Sotheby’s next month. It is estimated to get up to £80,000.
The article Under the headline “$25,000 ruby, once the pride of great Indian mogul, a plaything for children”, appeared in the Shamokin Dispatch, which ceased publication in the 1930s.
Reportedly, Graham-Pole was traveling to northern England when she lost the gemstone.
According to sources, it was found by the track in Leicestershire by a railway worker, Joseph H Wade. He brought the pretty “piece of red glass” home as a toy for his twins.
He understood the truth when he read a newspaper report of the loss a fortnight later. Joseph Wade found the stone in a corner where his children had thrown it while playing.
Benedict Carter, an expert on Middle Eastern art at Sotheby’s, who has spent months examining the gemstone, suspects the jewel came back from India with Pole’s daughter Dorothy, who was married to Hugh Ruttledge, deputy high commissioner in Lucknow and Almora in the 1920s. Once it was recovered, it stayed within the family – until now.
The Mughal emperors were fond of spinels, gemstones ranging in color from pink to wine, which they called rubies.
“Carving names into such stones was a highly skilled art which added to their value. These are engraved in a beautiful, flowing Persian script, which you can barely appreciate the details of under a jeweller’s loupe. I’ve seen spinels with one name, occasionally two. I’ve never seen one before with three names, ” said carter.
England holds various Indian pearls and ancient rarities that were either “blessings” to the domain or were gained by means of drive from their past pioneer territories and on the highest point of the all sits the abundantly bantered about ‘Kohinoor’.
India has much of the time requested that Britain give back the 105-carat precious stone, which some conviction was exhibited to Queen Victoria in 1850 and today sits in plain view as a feature of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
India makes a case for the gemstone, which it accepts is an impression of the abuse, loot and the unreasonable run of the British Raj.
The Kohinoor is set in the crown worn by Queen Elizabeth, the mother of the reigning monarch, at the coronation of her husband George VI in 1937, and was placed on her coffin at her funeral in 2002. (ANI)