Anouska Hempel's Collection of South Indian Jewellery at Islamic and Indian Sale

The collection of beautiful South Indian Jewellery belonging to the distinguished interior designer, Anouska Hempel, will be offered at Bonhams Islamic and Indian Sale on the 30 April in London. The collection, formed in London in the 1980s, represents a wealth of rare gold pieces from the 19th and 20th century.

Anouska Hempel commented "Having travelled and worked in Turkey and restored a small palace in Istanbul this jewellery collection has influenced my lighting designs, tap designs and floor patterns. Gardens with the Mughal touch and various other elements of design have come from this collection. Hopefully, it will reach new owners with the same enthusiasm and excitement."

The splendid South Indian temple pieces that can be seen in lots 129-132, were often decorated with serpents and fine repoussé depictions of gods and mythical beasts. The impressive Repoussé gold hair braid ornament (lot 130), dating from the 19th Century, would have been worn by Hindu brides and Bharatnatyam dancers. The magnificent piece has an estimate of £25,000-30,000.

It was a common tradition in South India to equate the braid and the serpent together to represent wealth and fertility. This can be seen in lot 131 with a repoussé gold hair braid ornament surmounted by a panel depicting a five-headed cobra (Jadai Nagam). Estimate £15,000-20,000.

Oliver White, Head of Bonhams Islamic and Indian sale, said, "We are delighted to offer this wonderful collection in our sale. It should be admired not only for its masterful craftsmanship but also as a representation of the social and religious belief systems of Southern India."

Other highlights include:

- A ruby-set repoussé gold hair braid ornament (Jadai Nagam). 19th century. £10,000-15,000.

- Three large gold amulets (Taveez), probably Tamil Nadu, from the 19th / 20th century. They have an estimate of £8,000-12,000.

- Two pairs of gold earrings, Tamil Nadu, 19th Century. They are traditional types from Tamil Nadu, with symbolism linked to Vishnu's serpent Anantha which represents eternity. Estimate £2,000-3,000.


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