Stone Carving

Rajasthan became famous for its jewelry industry from very early times, being an important source of precious and semiprecious stones. Sophisticated jewelry, set with precious stones using the kundankari technique or decorated with bright enamel work, known as minakari, were made for these Rajput court and affluent people. Skillful artisans from Lahore, Delhi, Gujarat and Bengal, attracted by the liberal patronage of the Rajas, came to work in Jaipur, Bikaner, Udaipur and Jodhpur. Throne Silver was used extensively in the court to make Cradles, Carriages, Howrahs, Utensils, Door Panels and Thrones. The lion motif, could only be used for the throne or other formal furniture of the ruler. Various Techniques of Jewelry Making.

Enameling - A lithograph of 1884 showing a typical workshop of a monikar. While three young assistant shape the ornaments and engrave the design on it, the old master craftsman carefully fires it in the earthen bhatti (kiln) fired with charcoal. The process is not much different today.
Minakari - Enameling or Minakari, is not indigenous to Rajasthan. It was introduced at the turn of the 16th century by Raja Man Singh of Amber. He is said to have brought five skillful enamelers from Lahore where the craft had flourished under the Mughals. They settled in Jaipur and created fascinating types of jewelry and decorative pieces with exquisite enameling work in brilliant colors, such as this beautiful goblets and this necklace.

Kundankari Technique
- The Jaipur lapidary displays superior skill in carving from hard stones such as jade, rock crystal, agate, garnet, emerald, topaz, amethyst and spinal. The Jadiyas(stonesetters) create fabulous pieces of jewelry using the age-old kundankari technique. In this typically Indian technique, the gemstones are set within solid walls of gold. Types of Jewelry.

Tribal Jewelry
- The ornaments of Barmer, Bhilwara and of the Meos of Alwar follow age-old designs typical of a particular tribe. The design often mimic the shapes of leaves, tendrils and flower buds, finished with a classical simplicity.

Turban Jewels
- Following the Mughal emperors, the Rajput rulers wore costly turban ornaments, jigha, made of dazzling, enameled gold and set with rare rose-cut diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls turban jewels like this one are still made by the jewelers of Jaipur. The sarpati, made of enameled gold, is tied around the turban on formal occasions. The reverse of this piece is beautiful enameled in white, red and green.

Body Jewelry - Women wear jewelry on many parts of their body. Personal ornaments include specific type worn on the Feet, head, forehead, ear, nose, neck, chest, arm, wrist, fingers and waist. Nose rings are attached to the earrings by fine gold chains and globular pendants are worn on the foreheads.

Village Goldsmith - In every small town or village, the resident sunar(Goldsmith) produces traditionally designed ornaments to meet the needs of the tribes living in the surrounding areas and those of the ordinary village folk. He also works as the repair expert, money lender and pawnbroker.

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