Gold Enamelled Box

India, Jaipur, circa 1900

Provenance: private collection

SKU: C54

A gold enamelled rectangular box, decorated with the Safed Chalwan emaille and kundan set with rose cut diamonds. Top and bottom of the box are richly decorated with flower motive and birds in red, white and blue emaille.

In many different designs distinguishing various species, the flower is in fact the ultimate symbol for femininity and fertility – the female pudendum, the womb, and the birth-giver. The color red also symbolizes fertility, but it symbolizes life as well. Therefore red stones are often mounted in jewellery with flower motifs.

The Sanskrit name for diamond is vajra, meaning impenetrable, also thunderbolt which is indicative of instant illumination. The Persian almas for diamond means as invincible. The word diamond has, however, been derived from the Latin adamas, from Greek for unconquerable. Diamond is the crystalline form of carbon. It is found in nature as water-worn pebbles, or grains in river-gravels and other alluvial deposits. The diamond is one of the most popular gemstones, owing chiefly to its lustre. It is the hardest substance known and, therefore, is used as an abrasive.



Catalogue A Kaleidoscope of Colours, Indian Mughal Jewels from the 18th and 19th centuries, page 105

Sharma, Rita Devi Handrafted Indian Enamel Jewellery, page 26

Weireter, Hans Schmuck der Maharajas, Aus den Schatzkammern indischer Fürsten, page 112 & 113