India, circa 18th – early 19th century
This magnificent Mughal era necklace of a princely / Maharaja magnitude features a large pear shaped cabochon cut emerald (28 x 20 mm) set in an ornate high karat (22K or higher) gold bezel surmounted with two parrots. The front of the bezel is embellished with mirror-like table cut diamonds of various shapes. The back is enameled in vibrant colors with traditional Mughal floral and bird motifs.
Emeralds were highly prized by rulers of the Mughal Empire. The finest pieces were imported from Colombia. The large size of the principal emerald, its vibrant color, and the elaborate bezel, all indicate that the necklace belonged to a highly ranked person.
The pendant is hanging on a 45 cm (17 1/2 in.) long emerald bead strand.
The gold bezel with bail measures 47 x 38 mm (1 7/8 x 1 3/8 in.)
Condition: minor loss of enamel, the 18K gold clasp of the necklace is a modern replacement.
A comparable parrot motif Mughal necklace is offered at Sotheby’s Art of the Islamic World & India, Lot 215.