Post Lot Text
It was not until the early 16th century and the time of the Conquistadors that the great Colombian emerald mines at Muzo and Chivor became known to Europeans and the Far East. The magnificent velvety-green gems were brought to the market via the Philippines and from that time on have been closely associated, in particular, with India and the fabulous treasuries of the Mughal Emperors and the Indian Maharajas. So close is this association that from that time to the present, the stones of the richest colour have been called 'old-mine Indian emeralds'. The emeralds in lot 623 are excellent examples of these old gems, particularly the pendant which has distinctive drill holes at each end reminiscent of the Mughal mounting style for pendants and amulets during the 17th and 18th centuries. These were strung on silk thread to be worn close to the skin so as to allow the wearer all the benefits of the gem.
The design of this superb piece, with its cluster top and detachable drop-shaped pendant, is consistent with other important early to mid 19th century emerald and diamond brooches. One such example is the Clive of India Northumberland brooch, set with a carved Mughal emerald brought back from India by the famous Robert Clive and mounted by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell in 1829.
Although the provenance of lot 623 can not be confirmed, judging by the quality of the gems and superb craftsmanship, it is certain that this important jewel was made for someone of significance.