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The Royal Bling

The ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier of Indian design aesthetics was estimated between $ 600,000 to $ 800,000 but was sold for $ 1.30 million

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In India, jewellery is not merely regarded as a commodity or a high value accoutrement but is rather wedded with one’s personal history and heirloom legacy. The primordial traditions of Indian jewellery making are revered no doubt; but in specific, the Mughal courts accentuated the exploration, as well as execution techniques. The designs produced during that era have successfully inspired influential powerhouses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chaumet and Mauboussin to name a few. Global fashion houses adopted India’s famed ‘Jaali’ design and after topical modifications, when they did present the pieces, it took the western market by storm. Today, these designs are in vogue and highly sought after, as a matter of fact, a recently concluded international auction had offered a ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier. The said lot, which was composed with Indian design aesthetics was estimated between $ 600,000 to $ 800,000. But given its importance and inherent opulence, it commanded a hammer price that surpassed its higher estimate and was sold for $ 1.30 million. 

On the domestic front as well, things are looking positive and my experience with Astaguru over the past couple of years has been exciting. The auction market in India is maturing, and all the credit goes to the enthusiasts, who are following the happenings at auctions, and are also bettering their knowledge about the domain. Therefore, with a well-informed audience that appreciates the historical significance and the rarity of the featured lots, we are inspired to present pieces worth a place in their collections. 

It was our firm belief that the Indian market has untapped potential, and therefore, we were the first home grown auction house to present an exclusive sale in this segment. 

Astaguru has indeed witnessed the jewellery market in India grow and expand. Following our debut auction in 2017, our 2018 ‘Heirloom Jewellery & Silver’ generated a revenue of Rs 7,81,73,475 while our subsequent edition in 2019 achieved a total sale value of Rs 8,50,69,019. I would be remiss not to mention that alongside the increment in the sales figure there was also an increment in the total lot sold ratio, in 2018 the figure was 48/70 lots (68 per cent) and in 2019 the figure was 55/70 lots (78 per cent). 

The observed trends of the past sales prove that the presented lots from our auctions have demand, and I feel that people want to build a structured portfolio of important Vintage Gems and Jewellery. India has a diverse and rich history, therefore, while curating our catalogue we maintain a balance of Vintage Indian, as well as European jewellery and silver. Our upcoming ‘Heirloom Jewellery & Silver’ edition that takes place on the 20th and 21st of October 2020 will feature a fine collection of vintage jewellery and silver that we are eager and proud to present.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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magazine issue 7 Oct 2020 luxury special

Jay Sagar

The author is AstaGuru’s jewellery expert. Belonging to the 4th generation of his family’s jewellery business, he is an expert in appraising vintage and estate jewellery

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