Hyderabad: The Nizam’s ceremonial sword, having a golden hilt and decorated with diamonds, rubies and emeralds, was sold for Rs 13.44 crore ($1,935,000) at an auction at Christie’s in New York, establishing a world auction record for an Indian sword. The 17-carat Golconda diamond Arcot II, once owned by the Nawab of Arcot, was sold for Rs 23 crore ($3,375,00).
The private collection of the Nizam, which included jewellery and decorated weapons, went under the hammer at the auction and is believed to have fetched close to Rs 100 crore.
According to Christie’s, almost 400 lots were offered in the auction titled ‘Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence Collection’ The auction is believed to have fetched Rs 700 crore ($109,271,875) for the seller in New York — the highest for any auction of Indian art and Mughal objects, and the second highest for a private jewellery collection. Sold for Rs 16 crore was the 19th century ‘Riviere’ necklace containing old-cut diamonds belonging to the Nizam collection. The seal of the 6th Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan was auctioned for $60,000. A piece linked to Hyderabad cracked the million-dollar mark: The enamelled gem set model of a parrot beat estimates and was sold for $1,035,000. The sarpench of the Nizam with hanging emeralds was also sold.
Mr Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewellery at Christie’s, said in a statement: “The 12-hour auction was presided over by five auctioneers. Almost 400 lots were offered, ranging from legendary Golconda diamonds to dazzling coloured stones, jewelled objects used in the royal courts to swords and daggers once owned by Indian rulers. Bidders came from 45 countries, and included a significant number of institutions.”