The historic treasure of the Nizam, the royal family of central India, is visible again after 12 years with an exceptional exhibition ♦ ︎
If you are an enthusiast of jewelry, youmust buy a ticket for New Delhi, India. Until 5 May, you will have the chance to admire one of the world’s most precious diamonds, the 184.75-carat Jacob diamond, the seventh-largest, and another 173 precious jewels of the Nizams of Hyderabad, exhibited at the National Museum. The exhibition is titled Jewels of India: The Nizam’s Jewelery Collection. It is an exceptional event, because from 12 years nobody can see this collection of historical jewels up close. And it’s a story to be told.
The Nizam treasure is an outstanding example of Deccan jewelry, but was been locked up in the basement of the Reserve Bank of India in 1995, after a long legal battle over its ownership between the government and the former royal family.
A dispute that still continues between Esra, the widow heir of the royal family, and the government, which instead considers the treasure an invaluable national heritage, which should not be auctioned. In fact, jewels have historical value. It all started in 1948, after the accession of the state of Hyderabad at the new India state in 1948, following independence from Great Britain. After India’s annexation of the kingdom, Nizam and his heirs were banned by the Indian government. The heirs were forced to sell the jewels at a very reduced price and entrusted to some trusts. But after the death of Azam Jah, in 1970, the trusts decided to sell the jewels. And from that moment the legal battle with the government began.
Now, however, the exhibition organized at the National Museum allows you to closely observe the jewels.
Nizam jewels are set with fabulous Golconda diamonds, now exhausted mines, emeralds from Colombia, rubies and spinels, pearls from Burma and Basra. They are rich jewels and follow the traditional Indian aesthetic and design, appreciated by the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. He created the Jewelery Trusts, which allowed the Indian government to acquire the jewels for the nation. The collection includes sarceche (turban ornaments), necklaces, belts and buckles, bracelets and bracelets, earrings, rings for toes, for hands, pocket watches and watch chains, buttons and cufflinks.
The exhibition will remain open to the public until 5 May 2019. Federico Graglia