Posted on: 31 March 2014

A suite of Victorian Petábgarh jewellery, India.

Comprising a necklace, bracelet and brooch; the frontispiece of the necklace comprising a series of green glass set pearshaped and oval plaques, suspending three pearshaped drops, all depicting scenes of wildlife amongst foliage, including peacocks, deer and a monkey, the backchain of fancy-link design, length 44cm, the bracelet formed as a series of seven graduated oval plaques with similar motifs, length 17cm, the oval brooch depicting figures riding an elephant and camel whilst under attack from big cats, width 48mm.

Petábgarh work originates from the town of Petábgarh in Rajputana, Northern India. The technique has its origins in the Mughal period. Themes often seen are based on Hindu Mythology or Mughal court scenes, historical events or incorporate images of flora and fauna. The pieces are formed with engraved sheets of gold, placed engraved side down on a sheet of colourless mica, the spaces are then filled from behind with powdered coloured glass which is then fused. The pieces are then mounted and the metal at the back gives the plaque a real brightness which shows through the coloured glass. The technique is sometimes confused with enamel but is very different. The 19th century saw pieces introduced into Britain, with women who lived or visited India bringing back examples.

Provenance: The property of Florence Mary Vansittart, eldest daughter of Henry Vansittart of The Honourable East India Company. Florence married an officer of The Bengal Army, Lieutenant General John Mackie Stewart of Cairnsmore in 1871.

Source: Bonhams

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This art form is traditionally called "THEVA" . My ancestral place Rampura in Madhya Pradesh now has only family that still continues to preserve this traditional art. It is captivating to see artisans painstakingly work with 22 kt gold leaves stretched over glass and create intricate designs.

Rajyashree Tripathi: Could you post their contact details please ?

I thought the art stands revived in Pratapgarh in Rajasthan ?