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Koh-i-Noor-diamant (replika)



Koh-i-noor

Ons redakteurs gaan na wat u ingedien het, en bepaal of hulle die artikel moet hersien.

Koh-i-noor, (Persies: "Berg van Lig"), ook gespel Kūh-e Nūr, die diamant met die langste geskiedenis van 'n bestaande steen, hoewel die vroeë geskiedenis daarvan omstrede is. Oorspronklik 'n klonterige Mughal-gesnyde klip met 'n gebrek aan vuur en 'n gewig van 191 karaat, om die vuur en glans te verbeter tot 'n vlak ovaal van 105,6 karaat in 1852 in Garrard van Londen, die koninklike juwelier, met onverskillige resultate.

Sommige bronne noem dat die eerste verwysings na die diamant, wat later bekend gestaan ​​het as die Koh-i-noor, al in 3200 vC in Sanskrit verskyn het en moontlik selfs Mesopotamiese tekste, maar hierdie bewering is omstrede. Daarteenoor beweer sommige kenners dat Sultan ʿAlāʾ-ud-Dīn Khaljī die juweel in 1304 uit die raja van Malwa, Indië, geneem het, wie se familie dit al baie generasies lank besit het. Ander skrywers het die Koh-i-noor geïdentifiseer met die diamant wat die seun van Bābur, die stigter van die Mughal-dinastie in Indië, gegee het deur die raja van Gwalior na die slag van Panipat in 1526. Nog ander het beweer dat dit oorspronklik gekom het uit die Kollur-myn van die Krishna-rivier en is in 1656 aan die Mughal-keiser Shāh Jahān voorgehou. Sommige beweer dat die klip gesny is uit die Great Mogul-diamant wat in 1665 deur die Franse juweelhandelaar Jean-Baptiste Tavernier beskryf is, maar die Koh-i -noor se oorspronklike gebrek aan vuur en vorm maak dit onwaarskynlik.

Dit het in elk geval heel waarskynlik deel uitgemaak van die buit van Nāder Shāh van Iran toe hy Delhi in 1739 afdank. Na sy dood val dit in die hande van sy generaal, Aḥmad Shāh, stigter van die Durrānī -dinastie van Afghanen. Sy afstammeling Shāh Shojāʿ, toe 'n vlugteling in Indië, gedwing is om die klip aan Ranjit Singh, die Sikh -heerser, oor te gee. By die anneksasie van die Punjab in 1849 is die Koh-i-noor deur die Britte verkry en onder die kroonjuwele van koningin Victoria geplaas. Dit is opgeneem as die sentrale steen in die koningin se staatskroon wat ontwerp is vir gebruik deur koningin Elizabeth, gemalin van George VI, tydens haar kroning in 1937. Die Koh-i-noor bly deel van hierdie kroon.


'' N Interessante skaduwee '

Die kuns om diamante te repliseer, is 'n delikate kuns, en miskien werk niemand met soveel genoemde klippe soos mnr. Hatleberg (63) wat 'n replika van die Wittelsbach-Graff-diamant van 31.06 karaat gemaak het vir Laurence Graff, die miljardêr-diamanthandelaar. , en die 273,85 karaat Eeufeesdiamant wat in 1986 deur DeBeers, die reuse diamantmaatskappy, ontdek is.

Sy eksemplaar van die Eeufees was so perfek dat 'n paar bestuurders van DeBeers genooi is om die twee te vergelyk, 'sommige kon nie dadelik die verskil sien nie', het Rory More O'Ferrall, destydse bestuurder van bemarkingskakeling, gesê.

Vir die Okavango Diamond Company het mnr. Hatleberg onlangs 'n afskrif van die Okavango Blue, 'n diepblou diamant van 20,46 karaat, wat in 2018 in Botswana gevind is, voltooi. 'Ons wou 'n replika hê omdat ons die nalatenskap van die klip vir toekomstige geslagte moet behou.' sê Marcus ter Haar, die besturende direkteur van die Okavango Diamond Company, wat die oorspronklike verkoop, in 'n telefoniese onderhoud.

'N Perfekte replika is 'n kunsvorm wat vir mnr. Hatleberg maande en selfs jare se werk kan verg. Alhoewel die Smithsonian baie replika's van die diamant gesien het, "het ons die luukse gehad om na mense te kyk wat sulke werk doen, maar John is 'n kunstenaar met 'n gevoel vir detail en perfeksie," het Jeffrey Post, kurator van die VSA, gesê. National Gem and Mineral Collection by die Smithsonian wat hom gehuur het. 'As John vir my 'n klip gee, weet ek dat hy daaroor gedink en ontleed het, en hy sou dit nie aan my oorhandig as hy nie gedink het dit was perfek nie.

Vir die Hope Diamond, "was die moeilikheid om die kleur te pas," het mnr. Post gesê. 'Dit is 'n interessante skakering, nie soos ander blou skakerings nie. Ons wou presiese replika's hê. ” Vir die museum was die doel “om nie te verkoop nie, maar om die verhaal van die geskiedenis van diamant te help vertel. Besoekers sien die groottes en vorms op 'n kragtige manier om die geskiedenis van die sny van die klip te gee. U kan nie bloot 'n prentjie van 'n driedimensionele voorwerp wys nie. "

Die meeste groot klippe lok groot publisiteit toe hulle die eerste keer uit die myne gebring, gesny en gepoleer word. Maar na die hoepel verdwyn die diamante dikwels in die kas van die rykes, net om weer te verskyn wanneer 'n veilingshamer op 'n mega-miljoen dollar verkoop kom. (Die diamantbedryf as 'n geheel het die afgelope dekades ook kritiese nuus gekry namate menseregteskendings en die handel in sogenaamde bloeddiamante aan die lig gekom het.)

Jare gelede is 'n paar diamante gekoop deur sosialiste en filmsterre wat dit geniet het om dit aan vriende en die pers te wys. Die Amerikaanse erfgenaam Evalyn Walsh McLean, die laaste privaat eienaar van die Hope, het dit dikwels in die openbaar gedra - of dit af en toe om haar hond se nek gesit of gedra as sy tuingemaak het. Richard Burton het in 1969 opslae gemaak toe hy 'n diamant van 68 karaat vir Elizabeth Taylor gekoop het en dit die Taylor-Burton-diamant noem. Net nadat die akteur dit gekoop het, het Cartier, die verkoper, dit in New York vertoon, waar 6 000 mense per dag tougestaan ​​het.

Maar in onlangse jare het 'filmsterre dit gewoonlik nie gekoop nie, maar hulle leen dit', het Henry Barguirdjian, 'n voormalige uitvoerende hoof van Graff USA en besturende vennoot van Arcot, 'n juweelbeleggingsonderneming, in 'n onderhoud gesê kort voor sy dood in Oktober . En hy het bygevoeg: 'In Amerika is daar mense wat graag edelgesteentes wil koop, maar hulle is gewoonlik sakelui en heeltemal anoniem. In Asië koop hulle soos Amerikaners gekoop het: vir statussimbole. ”

In 2015 het Joseph Lau, 'n sakeman in Hongkong, 'n rekord van $ 48,4 miljoen opgestel om 'n diamant van 12,03 karaat by Sotheby's genaamd "Blue Moon of Josephine" vir sy 7-jarige dogter te koop net nadat hy 'n pienk diamant van 16,08 karaat gekoop het. , "Sweet Josephine", vir $ 28,5 miljoen van Christie's.

Die Hoop, wat dikwels as 'n metafoor vir ne plus ultra genoem word, is ongewoon omdat dit al meer as 60 jaar te sien was. (Vir seker, die Franse en Britse kroonjuwele, wat in die openbaar vertoon word, bevat buitengewone diamante: onder meer dié wat gesny is uit die 3,106-karaat Cullinan, wat in 1905 in Suid-Afrika gevind is, en die Koh-i-Noor van 105,6 karaat, gevind in Indië.)

Die Hope se pad na Amerika was krom. Nadat Jean Baptiste Tavernier dit in 1668 aan koning Lodewyk XIV verkoop het, het die Sun King beveel dat dit in 'n meer simmetriese styl gewild was. Dit is toe in goud vasgemaak en gehang aan 'n neklint wat die koning vir seremoniële geleenthede gedra het.

Nadat dit in 1792 verdwyn en weer in Londen verskyn het, is dit verkoop en herverkoop totdat dit by mev. McLean beland het toe haar man, 'n uitgewery, dit in 1911 gekoop het. Ryk, ja, maar noodlottig. Haar oudste seun is dood in 'n motorongeluk en haar dogter weens 'n oordosis dwelms. By haar dood het Harry Winston haar hele juweliersversameling gekoop en in 1958 die Hope aan die museum gegee.

Deur dit vir die publiek weer te gee, het mnr. Post 'n idee gekry van hoe die diamant in elk van sy drie herhalings gelyk het.


Saga van die gekookte toermalyn

Saga van die gekookte toermalyn
Elke keer as 'n juweel gesny word, word dit met was of gom aan 'n dopstok gekoppel. Hierdie verbindingsproses staan ​​bekend as dopping. Op hierdie manier kan die stok in die masjien geplaas word en ... Ещё die klip kan gemanipuleer word om te sny.
'N Paar weke gelede het ek begin om my epoksie wat in die oond gedoop is, te genees. Voor dit sou ek die stok en die klip opsit, die epoksie aanbring en dit ongeveer 24 uur laat staan ​​sodat die epoksie heeltemal genees en die klip veilig kan hou. Ek sou moeg word om te wag, so ek verhit nou alles in die oond en dit is binne een uur gereed, en bespaar baie tyd.
In hierdie geval was ek pas klaar met 'n taamlik komplekse konkawe snit op die ... Ещё


Verlang, gesteel, vervloek: die geskiedenis van die Koh-i-Noor-diamant

Die Koh-i-Noor is 'n juweel van internasionale reputasie, net so verdelend as mooi. Skryf vir BBC World History tydskrif in 2016, verken William Dalrymple sy troebel geskiedenis en vra: aan wie moet dit nou behoort?

Hierdie kompetisie is nou gesluit

Gepubliseer: 4 Februarie 2020 om 17:25

Op 29 Maart 1849 is die jong maharajah van die Punjab, Dulip Singh, ingelei in die pragtige Mirrored Hall in die middel van die groot fort in Lahore. Daar, tydens 'n openbare seremonie, het die bang, maar waardige kind uiteindelik toegegee aan maande se Britse druk en 'n formele Wet van Onderwerping onderteken. Hierdie dokument, later bekend as die Verdrag van Lahore, het groot dele van die rykste land in Indië aan die Britse Oos -Indiese Kompanjie oorhandig - grond wat tot op daardie oomblik die onafhanklike Sikh -koninkryk van die Punjab, 'n noordelike gebied van die suide, gevorm het Asië.

Terselfdertyd is Dulip (soms gespel Duleep) aangespoor om aan koningin Victoria te oorhandig, waarskynlik die enigste waardevolste voorwerp in nie net die Punjab nie, maar die hele subkontinent: die gevierde Koh-i-Noor-diamant, die 'Mountain of Light' . Artikel III van die verdrag lui eenvoudig: “Die edelsteen genaamd Koh-i-Noor, wat deur Maharajah Runjeet [of Ranjit] Singh uit Shah Sooja ool-Moolk [Shah Shuja Durrani] geneem is, word oorgegee deur die Maharajah van Lahore aan die koningin van Engeland. ”

Die Oos -Indiese Kompanjie, die wêreld se eerste multinasionale, het in die loop van 'n eeu gegroei van 'n operasie waarin slegs 35 permanente personeellede met sy hoofkwartier in 'n klein kantoor in die stad Londen gegroei het tot die magtigste en swaar gemilitariseerde korporasie in die geskiedenis. Sy oë was al jare lank gevestig op die Punjab en die diamant, en die kans om beide te bekom, het uiteindelik ontstaan ​​in 1839, by die dood van Dulip Singh se pa, Maharajah Ranjit Singh, toe die Punjab in anargie neergedaal het.

Hoe het die Koh-i-Noor-diamant Brittanje bereik?

'N Gewelddadige magstryd, 'n vermeende vergiftiging, verskeie sluipmoorde, 'n burgeroorlog en twee Britse invalle later, het die leër van die maatskappy uiteindelik die khalsa (die liggaam van vroom Sikhs) tydens die bloedige slag by Chillianwala, op 13 Januarie 1849. Aan die einde van daardie jaar, op 'n koue, somber dag in Desember, kom die goewerneur-generaal van Indië, lord Dalhousie, in Lahore aan om te neem formele aflewering van sy prys uit die hande van Dulip Singh.

Kort daarna is die Koh-i-Noor na Engeland gestuur, waar koningin Victoria dit onmiddellik aan die Groot Uitstalling van 1851 geleen het. Lang rye het deur die Crystal Palace, in die Hyde Park van Londen, geslinger toe die publiek opdaag om hierdie gevierde keiserstrofee te sien . Die diamant was opgesluit in sy spesiaal ingeboude Chubb-veiligheidsglaskluis, self in 'n metaalhok.

Op hierdie manier, uitbasuin deur die Britse pers en beleër deur die Britse publiek, het die Koh-i-Noor vinnig nie net die bekendste diamant ter wêreld geword nie, maar ook die mees beroemde buit van Indië. Dit was 'n simbool van die Victoriaanse Britse oorheersing van die wêreld en sy vermoë, ten goede of ten kwade, om van die hele wêreld die mees begeerlike voorwerpe af te neem en met triomf te vertoon, net soos die Romeine vroeër met nuuskierighede uit hul verower 2 000 jaar vroeër.

Namate die roem van hierdie diamant gegroei het, word die vele ander groot Mughal-diamante wat eens teen die Koh-i-Noor was, byna vergete, en die 'Berg van Lig' het 'n unieke status as die grootste juweel ter wêreld behaal. Slegs 'n paar historici het onthou dat die Koh-i-Noor, wat 190,3 karaat geweeg het toe dit in Brittanje aangekom het, ten minste twee vergelykbare susters gehad het: die Darya-i-Noor ('See van Lig'), nou in Teheran en vandag geskat op 175-195 metrieke karaat, en die Groot Mughal-diamant, wat deur die meeste moderne gemoloë geglo word, die Orlov-diamant van 189,6 karaat, wat nou in die keiserlike Russiese septer van Catherine die Grote in die Kremlin gesit is.

'N Enkelstatus

In werklikheid was dit eers in die vroeë 19de eeu, toe die Koh-i-Noor die Punjab en die hande van Ranjit Singh bereik het, dat die diamant sy vooraanstaande beroemdheid begin bereik het. Dit was deels die gevolg van Ranjit Singh se voorkeur vir diamante bo robyne - 'n smaak wat Sikhs geneig was om te deel met die meeste Hindoes, maar nie met die Mughals of Perse nie, wat groot, ongeslypte, helderkleurige klippe verkies het.

In die Mughal-tesourie blyk dit dat die Koh-i-Noor slegs een was onder 'n aantal buitengewone hoogtepunte in die grootste juweelversameling wat ooit saamgestel is, waarvan die mees waardevolle items nie diamante was nie, maar die Mughals se geliefde rooi robyne en spinel edelstene uit Badakhshan in die noordooste van Afghanistan.

Die groeiende status van die Koh-i-Noor was ook deels 'n gevolg van die vinnig stygende prys van diamante wêreldwyd in die vroeë en middel 19de eeu. Dit het gevolg op die uitvinding van die 'briljante snit', wat die 'vuur' wat in elke diamant inherent is, volledig vrystel, en wat weer gelei het tot die mode in die middelklas-Europa en Amerika vir diamantverlovingsringe.

Die laaste daad in die opkoms van Koh-i-Noor tot wêreldsterre het plaasgevind in die nasleep van die Groot Uitstalling en die massiewe persdekking wat dit veroorsaak het. Kort voor lank het groot, dikwels vervloekte, Indiese diamante gereeld verskyn in gewilde Victoriaanse romans soos Wilkie Collins se 1868 Die maansteen.

So het die Koh-i-Noor uiteindelik in Europese ballingskap 'n unieke, byna mitiese wêreldstatus behaal wat hy nog nooit bereik het voordat hy sy Indiese vaderland verlaat het nie. En omdat die ander groot Mughal -diamante deur almal behalwe spesialiste vergeet is, word alle vermeldings van buitengewone Indiese diamante in bronne soos die Herinneringe van die 16de-eeuse Mughal-keiser Babur of die Reise in Indië van die 17de-eeuse Franse juwelier Jean-Baptiste Tavernier word terugskouend aanvaar dat dit verwys na die Koh-i-Noor. In elke stadium het sy mitologie al hoe meer merkwaardig, steeds mitieser geword - en steeds wankelrig fiktief.

Vandag word toeriste wat die diamant in die Tower of London sien, dikwels verbaas oor die klein grootte daarvan, veral in vergelyking met die twee veel groter Cullinan-diamante wat daarby vertoon word: eintlik is die Koh-i-Noor tans slegs die 90ste grootste diamant ter wêreld.

'N Troebel geskiedenis

Net so klein, behou die Koh-i-Noor enorme roem en status, en is hy weer die middelpunt van internasionale onenigheid, aangesien die Indiese regering-onder andere-vra dat die juweel terugkeer. Selfs nou kan dit lyk asof Indiese amptenare nie besluite neem oor die mistige geskiedenis van Koh-i-Noor nie.

Op 16 April 2016 het die Indiese prokureur-generaal, Ranjit Kumar, aan die Indiese hooggeregshof gesê dat die Koh-i-Noor in die middel van die 19de eeu vryelik aan die Britte gegee is deur Maharajah Ranjit Singh, en dat dit "nie gesteel of met geweld is nie" deur Britse heersers geneem ”. Dit was volgens enige standaarde 'n opvallend onhistoriese stelling - des te meer vreemd, aangesien die feite van die oorgawe aan Lord Dalhousie in 1849 oor die enigste aspek van die verhaal is wat nie betwis word nie.

Almal wat vandag die harde feite uit die geskiedenis van die juweel probeer vasstel, sal vind dat ondubbelsinnige verwysings na hierdie mees gevierde juwele nog byna agterdogtig dun op die grond is. Die Koh-i-Noor is moontlik gemaak van die moeilikste stof op aarde, maar dit het nog altyd 'n luglose, onbeduidende mis van mitologie aangetrek. Daar is inderdaad eenvoudig geen 100 persent seker verwysing na die Koh-i-Noor in enige Sultanaat- of Mughal-bron nie, ondanks baie tekstuele verwysings na groot en waardevolle diamante in die geskiedenis van die Indië, veral na die hoogtepunt van die Mughal-bewind. Sommige hiervan verwys moontlik na die Koh-i-Noor, maar sonder voldoende beskrywings is dit onmoontlik om seker te wees.

Botsende eise oor die juweel

Trouens, daar is geen definitiewe vermeldings van die Koh-i-Noor in enige dokument voordat die Persiese historikus Mohammad Kazem Marvi die eerste, soliede, genoemde verwysing in sy geskiedenis na die inval van die Persiese Nader Shah in Indië gemaak het nie. Dit is laat in die middel van die 1740's geskryf-'n dekade of wat nadat Nader Shah die juweel van Indië na Persië weggevoer het. En dit was nie die enigste keer dat dit tussen lande gereis het nie. Die saak word dikwels in Indië aangevoer dat die Britte dit moet teruggee, aangesien die Britte op die punt van 'n bajonet deur die Britte geneem is.

Alhoewel die Koh-i-Noor beslis sy oorsprong in Suid-Indië het-waarskynlik in die Kollur-myne van Golconda in die huidige Telangana-staat-het Persië, Afghanistan en Pakistan ook goeie aansprake op die juweel. Dit was op verskillende tye in besit van Nader Shah, in die middel van die 18de eeu deur Ahmed Shah Durrani (c1722–72) van Afghanistan, en natuurlik deur Ranjit Singh van Lahore, nou in Pakistan. Al drie lande het op verskillende tye eienaarskap verklaar en regstappe uitgevoer om dit terug te kry, selfs die Taliban het sy eis op die klip geregistreer.

Boonop het Ranjit Singh die juweel met geweld geneem, net soos die Britte. Op dieselfde manier as wat Britse bronne geneig is om die geweld wat hulle in die gryp van die klip inneem, te verlig, doen Sikhs dit ook. Tog is die outobiografie van sy vorige eienaar Shah Shuja Durrani (c1785–1842), wat ek in Kaboel gevind het toe ek aan my boek gewerk het Die terugkeer van 'n koning, is eksplisiet oor wat gebeur het. Nadat hy in 1809 as emir van Afghanistan afgedank is, het Shah Shuja Durrani in ballingskap in Indië gegaan. By sy aankoms in Lahore, waarheen hy in 1813 deur Ranjit Singh genooi is, is Shuja van sy harem geskei, onder huisarres geplaas en aangesê om die diamant te oorhandig. "Die dames van ons harem is in 'n ander herehuis gehuisves, waartoe ons die meeste ergerlik geen toegang gehad het nie," skryf Shuja in sy Herinneringe. "Kos- en waterrantsoene is verminder of willekeurig afgesny."

Shuja beskou dit as 'n ongemanierde oortreding van die wette van gasvryheid. 'Dit was 'n toonbeeld van onheilspellende maniere', het hy geskryf, met al die outeurs wat hy kon opdoen, en sy kaptein afgemaak as 'beide vulgêr en tirannies, sowel as lelik en nederig'.

Geleidelik verhoog Ranjit die druk. Op die laagste punt van sy fortuin is Shuja volgens 'n verslag in 'n hok gesit; sy oudste seun is voor hom gemartel totdat hy ingestem het om met sy waardevolste besitting te skei. 'Ranjit Singh begeer die Koh-i-Noor-diamant bo alles anders in hierdie wêreld', skryf die kroniekskrywer Mirza 'Ata Mohammad,' en breek alle wette van gasvryheid om dit in besit te neem. Die koning [Shah Shuja] was lank in die gevangenis, en sy wagte het hom in die brandende son gelaat, maar sonder effek, want hy sou nie bely waar die juweel weggesteek was nie. Uiteindelik neem hulle sy jong seun, prins Muhammad Timur, en laat hom op die kaal dak van die paleis in die brandende son op en af ​​trap, sonder skoene of kopbedekking. liggaam wat hierdie brandende marteling nie kon uithou nie, so hy het hardop uitgeroep en dit was asof hy sou verdwyn. Die koning kon dit nie verdra om sy geliefde kind so te sien ly nie. ”

Uiteindelik, op 1 Junie 1813, kom Ranjit Singh persoonlik aan en wag saam met 'n paar dienaars op Shah Shuja. Hy is deur Shuja “met groot waardigheid ontvang, en terwyl hy sit, het 'n pouse en 'n plegtige stilte ontstaan, wat amper 'n uur lank aangehou het. Toe word Ranjit ongeduldig en fluister vir een van sy dienaars om die Shah te herinner aan die voorwerp van sy koms. Geen antwoord is teruggestuur nie, maar die Sjah met sy oë het 'n sein vir 'n eunug, wat afgetree het, 'n klein roltjie ingebring wat hy op die mat neergesit het op 'n gelyke afstand tussen die kapteins. Ranjit wou hê dat sy eunug die rol moet oopvou, en toe die diamant uitgestal en erken word, tree die Sikh onmiddellik terug met sy prys in sy hand. ”

Koh-i-Noor diamant vloek

Die vraag of die Koh-i-Noor vervloek is of nie, het die trots rasionele Victoriaanse grootliks uitgeoefen. Lord Dalhousie was vas oortuig dat die groot diamant nie vervloek is nie. Lord Dalhousie het daarop gewys dat die diamant aan sommige van die gelukkigste, rykste en magtigste monarge van die geskiedenis behoort, en bespot met die idee dat 'n vloek selfs moontlik is.

Tog, soos my jare lange navorsing oor die Koh-i-Noor bevestig het, het baie van die diamanteienaars-onder andere Shah Shuja-op die mees afgryslike maniere gely, en die geskiedenis daarvan is besaai met eienaars wat blind, stadig is vergiftig, doodgemaak, in olie verbrand, met verdrinking gedreig, met gesmelte lood bekroon en vermoor deur hul eie familie en naaste lyfwagte. Selfs die passasiers en bemanning van HMS Medea is deur 'n cholera-epidemie en storms ontwrig toe die vaartuig die Koh-i-Noor in 1850 van Indië na Engeland vervoer het.

So, wat moet nou gebeur met hierdie beweerde vervloekte diamant? Sommige het voorgestel dat 'n museum vir die klip by Wagah, op die grens tussen Indië en Pakistan, gebou moet word - 'n unieke instelling wat van beide kante toeganklik is. Ander het aangevoer dat die klip weer gesny moet word, en 'n stuk moet gegee word aan elkeen van die lande wat 'n geloofwaardige argument vir sy terugkeer voer, insluitend Iran en Afghanistan. Dit is egter onwaarskynlik dat sulke Britte ooit deur die Britte vermaak sou word, en dit sou inderdaad ook nie een van die verskillende betrokke partye bevredig nie.

Die Koh-i-Noor was nie die grootste diamant in Mughal-hande nie-en dit verloor later baie van sy gewig tydens die sny wat in 1852 deur koningin Victoria se man, prins Albert, gelas is-maar tog behou dit 'n beroemdheid wat ongeëwenaard is deur enige van sy groter of meer volmaakte mededingers. Dit het meer as enigiets anders die fokus van eise vir vergoeding vir koloniale plundering gemaak en die herhaaldelike pogings aan die gang gesit om dit na sy verskillende voormalige huise terug te bring.

Hierdie verhaal bring steeds nie net belangrike historiese aangeleenthede na vore nie, maar ook kontemporêre. Op baie maniere is dit 'n toetssteen en weerligstraal vir die houding teenoor kolonialisme, wat die vraag stel: wat is die regte reaksie op keiserlike plundering? Trek ons ​​dit eenvoudig af as deel van die onstuimigheid van die geskiedenis, of moet ons probeer om die verkeerde dinge van die verlede reg te stel?

Wat wel seker is, is dat hierdie diamant waarskynlik nie in die onmiddellike toekoms gewaardeer sal word uit die vitrine in die Tower of London nie. Dit is laas in 2002 in die openbaar op die kis van die Britse koninginmoeder gesien, en wag op 'n nuwe koningin. Gegewe die gewelddadige en dikwels tragiese geskiedenis van die diamant, is dit dalk nie goeie nuus vir die toekoms van die monargie nie, en ook nie vir die volgende paartjie wat op die troon sit nie.

Byna 300 jaar nadat Nader Shah die groot diamant uit Delhi weggevoer het, het hy die Mughal-ryk gebreek en 170 jaar nadat dit die eerste keer in Britse hande gekom het, het die Koh-i-Noor blykbaar niks van sy mag verloor nie om verdeeldheid en onenigheid te skep. Op sy beste lyk dit asof dit gemengde geluk bring vir elkeen wat dit dra, waar dit ook al gaan.

William Dalrymple is 'n historikus en skrywer. Hy is die medeskrywer, saam met Anita Anand, van Koh-i-Noor: Die geskiedenis van die bekendste diamant ter wêreld (Bloomsbury, 2017).


Terugkeer van Koh-I-Noor Diamond Terug na Indië

In 1747 word Nadir Shah deur sy eie wagte vermoor en die diamant het Shujah Shah Durrani in beheer, maar hy is verslaan en deur sy broer, Mahmud Shah, gevange geneem. Maar voordat hy gevange geneem is, het hy daarin geslaag om sy gesin na Punjab te stuur om by Maharaja Ranjit Singh toevlug te soek. Maharaja het opgeruk en Shah Shuja vrygelaat en Koh-I-Noor in besit geneem. Ranjit Singh het die diamant by al die belangrike geleenthede gedra. Daar word gesê dat ten tyde van die dood van Ranjit Singh in 1839 sy priesters probeer het om die diamant aan die Tempel van Jagannath. Alhoewel hy ingestem het, kon hy nie praat nie, en daarom wou die koninklike skat nie die diamant loslaat nie.

Raja Ranjit Singh het ingestem om die diamant aan Jagannath -tempel in Indië te skenk, maar hy kon nie praat nie, en sy testament is nie uitgevoer nie. Beeldbron: myoksha.com

'N Replika van die Koh-i-noor-diamant, die bloed deurweekte geskiedenis van die juweel hou verband met 'n nuwe boek deur William Dalyrmple en Anita Anand

New Delhi (AFP)-Baie edelgesteentes het 'n bloed deurdrenkte geskiedenis, maar 'n nuwe boek onthul die beroemdste diamant ter wêreld wat die Koh-i-Noor hulle almal oortref, met 'n menigte gruwels wat 'Game of Thrones' meeding.

Die Koh-i-Noor ('Mount of Light'), nou deel van die Britse kroonjuwele, was getuie van die geboorte en die val van ryke in die Indiese subkontinent en bly die onderwerp van 'n bittere eienaarskapstryd tussen Brittanje en Indië.

Dit is 'n ongelooflike gewelddadige verhaal. Byna almal wat die diamant besit of daaraan raak, kom tot 'n gruwelike taai einde, 'sê die Britse historikus William Dalrymple, wat saam met die joernalis Anita Anand mede-outeur was van & quot; Kohinoor: The Story of the World's Most Infamous Diamond & quot;

Ons kry vergiftigings, bloeding, iemand kry sy kop met stene geslaan, baie marteling, een persoon verblind deur 'n warm naald. Daar is 'n groot verskeidenheid gruwels in hierdie boek, "het Dalrymple in 'n onderhoud aan AFP gesê.

In 'n besonder gruwelike voorval wat die boek vertel, word gesmelte lood in die kroon van 'n Persiese prins gegooi om hom die ligging van die diamant te laat onthul.

Die diamant, wat volgens historici waarskynlik die eerste keer in Indië tydens die bewind van die Mughal -dinastie ontdek is, word in die Tower of London, deel van die kroon van die ontslape koningin Moeder, in die openbaar vertoon.

Die eerste rekord van die Koh-i-Noor dateer uit ongeveer 1750 na die inval van die Persiese heerser Nader Shah in die hoofstad Mughal Delhi.

Shah het die stad geplunder en skatte geneem, soos die mitiese Pou-troon, versier met edelgesteentes, waaronder die Koh-i-Noor.

Die pou troon was die mooiste meubelstuk wat nog ooit gemaak is. Dit kos vier keer die koste van die Taj Mahal en het al die beter juwele deur die Mughals van oor die hele Indië oor geslagte heen versamel, "sê Dalrymple.

Die diamant self was destyds nie veral bekend nie - die Mughals verkies gekleurde klippe soos robyne bo edelgesteentes.

Ironies genoeg, gegewe die diplomatieke hoofpyn wat dit sedertdien veroorsaak het, het dit eers bekendheid verwerf nadat dit deur die Britte verkry is.

"Mense weet net van die Koh-i-Noor omdat die Britte soveel ophef daarvan gemaak het," sê Dalrymple.

Indië het tevergeefs probeer om die klip terug te kry sedert sy onafhanklikheid in 1947 gewen het, en die onderwerp word gereeld aan die orde gestel wanneer amptenare uit die twee lande vergader.

Iran, Pakistan en selfs die Afghaanse Taliban het in die verlede ook die Koh-i-Noor geëis, wat dit 'n politieke warm aartappel vir die Britse regering maak.

In die loop van die eeu wat gevolg het op die ondergang van Mughals, is die Koh-i-Noor deur 'n Moslem-godsdienstige geleerde op verskillende maniere as papiergewig gebruik en op 'n glinsterende armband aangebring wat deur 'n Sikh-koning gedra is.

Dit het eers in die middel van die negentiende eeu in Britse hande oorgegaan, toe Brittanje beheer oor die Sikh -ryk Punjab verkry het, wat nou tussen Pakistan en Indië verdeel is.

Sikh -koning Ranjit Singh het dit geneem van 'n Afghaanse heerser wat heiligdom in Indië gesoek het en nadat hy in 1839 gesterf het, het daar 'n oorlog tussen die Sikhs en die Britte uitgebreek.

Die 10-jarige erfgenaam van Singh het die diamant aan die Britte oorhandig as deel van die vredesverdrag wat die oorlog beëindig het, en die juweel is daarna op die 1851 Great Exhibition in Londen vertoon-wat onmiddellike status van beroemdhede verkry het.

"Dit het vir die Victoriane 'n simbool geword van die verowering van Indië, net soos vandag, vir post-koloniale Indiërs, dit is 'n simbool van die koloniale plundering van Indië," sê Dalrymple.

Die Koh-i-Noor, wat vermoedelik vervloek is, word sedert die dood van koningin Victoria in 1901 nie deur 'n Britse monarg gedra nie.

Dit het laas uit sy glaskas in die Tower of London gekom vir die begrafnis van die koninginmoeder, toe dit op haar kis neergesit is.

Kan dit dan weer gedra word - miskien deur Camilla, hertogin van Cornwall, as prins Charles op die troon klim?

"As dit die monargie nie voltooi nie, sou niks anders nie", lag Dalrymple.


Opdaterings van diamante

26 Junie 2005

Londen, 25 Junie: In 'n gebaar wat ontstoke Indiese nasionaliste sal ontstel, moet die Britte 'n replika van die oorspronklike ongeslypte Koh-i-Noor, die beroemdste diamant ter wêreld, uitstal in die Natural History Museum in Londen vanaf 8 Julie.

Die Koh-i-Noor is deur die Britte as buit geneem toe Lord Dalhousie Punjab geannekseer het.

Dit is toe deur Maharaja Duleep Singh in 1850 aan koningin Victoria "aangebied".

Die Britte sê dat die Maharaja die diamant aan die koningin geskenk het, maar aangesien hy destyds nog net 'n minderjarige was, was dit 'n historiese debat of die Britte die skat gesteel het en of dit werklik 'n geskenk was.

Een ding is seker: die Britte het dit, hulle vertoon dit as die middelpunt van die kroonjuwele, en alhoewel baie verontwaardigde Indiërs probeer om terug te keer, gaan die Engelse nie hul buit meer oorhandig as wat hulle gaan nie om die Elgin Marbles aan die Grieke terug te gee.

Om een ​​of ander rede het die Natural History Museum al meer as 150 jaar 'n oorspronklike gips van die Koh-i-Noor in sy versameling.

By die Groot Uitstalling van 1851 in Crystal Palace, het die diamant te sien gekom, waar duisende in die tou gestaan ​​het om hulle oor die grootte te verwonder. Ongesny, dit beloop 186,1 karaat.

Maar anders as die Indiërs, wie se keisers verkies om hul krans in hul natuurlike toestand te dra, hou westerlinge van die skitter van talle gesigte. In sy Indiese inkarnasie het die Koh-i-Noor 200 fasette-vier keer meer as 99 persent geslypte diamante-en was dit bedoel om op 'n armband gedra te word om die lig te kry.

Prins Albert laat die Koh-i-Noor in 'n ovaal van 106 karaat lê.

Die museum het in Januarie begin saamwerk met die Amerikaanse juweelkunstenaar, John Hatleberg, om 'n replika van die diamant te skep.

Hatleberg het gesê: "Vir 14 jaar was dit my strewe om die oorspronklike Koh-i-Noor te herskep, en ek is verheug dat dit nou die eerste vertoning by die diamantuitstalling in Londen sal ontvang."

Daar sal ook ander diamante te sien wees.

"Binne die wêreld van diamante vereis die Koh-i-Noor, bo alle ander, dat dit op die gebied van die fantastiese beskou moet word," het Hatleberg bygevoeg.

Hy gebruik die model van die museum om 'n kaart te maak wat elke faset van die diamant toon en sorgvuldig herskep uit natuurlike en sintetiese materiale. Dit het 30 gevalle gehad waar ses fasette op een punt ontmoet het en 24 gevalle waar vyf fasette mekaar ontmoet het. Standaard briljante geslypte diamante het nie ses fasette wat op een punt ontmoet nie.

Die eintlike Koh-i-Noor word in die Tower of London gehou as die middelpunt van die Maltese kruis van die kroningskroon wat in 1937 vir die koninginmoeder gemaak is. Dit is kortliks op haar kis getoon tydens haar begrafnisdiens.

Five years ago, a group of Indian MPs demanded the return of the Koh-i-Noor.

One of them was Kuldip Nayar, veteran journalist and a Rajya Sabha member then, who said: “The Greeks have been asking for the return of the Elgin Marbles for a long time now and the Blair government has even set up a committee to trace cultural relics to the country of their origin. And if they can consider returning the Elgin marbles, why not the Koh-i-noor?”


The Koh-i-Noor in London and the Great Exhibition of 1851

The Koh-i-Noor’s arrival in London could not have been better timed. Although powerful royals throughout Europe possessed important diamonds, Britain’s queen had none. The consort of King George III, Queen Charlotte (1744–1818), had been rather infamous for wearing diamonds, and critics of her consumption habits were regularly preoccupied with the amount of diamond jewelry she owned and wore. 10 This criticism of her jeweled presentation resulted in subsequent British royal women wearing diamonds far more selectively and sparingly. On the other hand, the restored French monarchy possessed the 140-carat Pitt diamond and Catherine the Great had installed the 190-carat Orlov diamond into the Russian imperial scepter. Diamonds possessed an increasingly important function in the presentation of the royal body—particularly the body of a queen—so the moment was apt for Victoria to receive and wear a large, important diamond through which she could assert her royal authority while simultaneously enhancing her feminine presentation.

Prince Albert was particularly enthusiastic about the Koh-i-Noor’s arrival and planned to use its exotic allure to generate further interest in the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, set to open in less than a year (fig. 4). Political and social upheaval had plagued Europe for years, and the Great Exhibition of 1851 was to provide a space for healthy competition between nations—a global battle of one-upmanship in the realms of science, industry, and technology—all in the spirit of universal uplift and progress. 11 As Victoria’s “Prince Consort,” he had no official power or duties attached to his title. Indeed, many of the features typically associated with royal masculinity were withheld from him and possessed by his wife she was a queen, a future empress, and the wielder of great social, political, and economic power. Involvement in projects that emphasized the masculine domains of science and progress—like the Great Exhibition of 1851—was one of the ways in which Albert could demonstrate and assert his masculinity, fashioning himself as a man of vision and innovation. The success of the Great Exhibition would be a proclamation to his wife’s subjects of his own economic and cultural prowess.

That the public perceived the Prince Consort as submissive and weak is evident in a number of cartoons that highlight concerns and popular perceptions about his questionable masculinity. A lithograph from 1840, for example, commemorates the moment in which Victoria famously proposed to her handsome German cousin (fig. 5). Albert sits up rigidly with a passive, coy expression on his lowered face. He appears reserved and coquettish, clenching his top hat nervously between his legs and too bashful to meet Victoria’s adoring gaze. In contrast, the queen unabashedly wraps her right arm over his shoulder. With her left hand she strokes Albert’s chin, immodestly expressing her affection physically. The words “Albert will you marry me?” stream out of her mouth and are projected on the wall behind them, next to an image of Victoria as queen, standing autonomously as the great British monarch.

The queen was certainly aware of the imbalance of power that existed within her marriage and the challenge this posed to society through the inversion of traditional gender conventions. To address this, she effectively strategized modes of presentation that would ease tensions in her subjects about her roles as both sovereign and dutiful wife while enhancing Albert’s manliness. This was accomplished largely through the production of collectible cartes de visite intended for mass distribution, staged as a “spectacle of royal domestic privacy,” in which she fashioned herself as a doting wife to her physically powerful husband. 12 Such images, comprehensively discussed by numerous scholars including Margaret Homans and Anne M. Lyden, demonstrate one of several ways in which the royal couple constructed or manipulated public perceptions of the power dynamics within their relationship by stressing Victoria’s femininity and highlighting Albert’s masculinity. Another way in which the couple could adhere to gender conventions of the time was through the prince consort’s publicized involvement in projects related to the masculine realms of economic, technological, and scientific advancement. This strategy, as I will soon demonstrate, also implicated the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

With the legendary jewel now in London, Albert began to use its exotic allure aggressively to publicize the Great Exhibition of 1851 at which it would be unveiled to the public. The Crystal Palace—itself a tremendous feat of technology—was erected in Hyde Park specifically for the event, and thirty thousand square feet of it were allocated for the exhibition of India. The India court was prominently positioned near the main entrance of the Crystal Palace and filled the west side of the building’s north–south transept. The East India Company and appointed members responsible for the India court sought to display and narrate their version of an authentic India—one that would dazzle the masses of visitors and reveal to them the many benefits to be gained through occupation. 13 This “faithful picture” of India emphasized two extremes: a timeless, fertile, largely untapped wellspring of resources and a land of garish decadence and unfathomable excess.

Visitors to the India court were immediately struck by a gold howdah owned by the queen which was perched on the back of an imposing stuffed elephant at the center of the exhibit (fig. 6). The taxidermied animal had been brought in from Essex, dressed up in colorful fabrics, and adorned with ornaments hanging from its ears. The flamboyantly festooned elephant mirrored the effeminate “barbaric pomp” of Indian rulers presented at the exhibition while explicitly highlighting British domination over the once powerful land. 14 Other contributions of India included raw materials, “innumerable specimens of wood,” precious metals, fabrics, carpets, shawls, ivory, and a “profusion of gold and gems, rubies and diamonds, emeralds and pearls.” 15

In addition to jeweled armory and gem-studded princely clothing, a cabinet in the India exhibit contained a dazzling array of ornaments, many of which had previously been housed in the Lahore treasury along with the Koh-i-Noor. The famed Daria-i-Noor had been heavily publicized in papers before the exhibition opened and appeared in an armlet, a massive pink table-cut diamond surrounded by ten smaller diamonds. Reports circulated about its exceptional quality and inconceivable value, but like many of the jeweled objects in the India court, its opulence was jarring to visitors, with one observer calling it “a gem of prodigious beauty, but obscured by the tastelessness of its setting.” 16 The sartorial conventions of South Asian kingship had for a long time captured the attention of European travelers to the subcontinent whose fascination with and aversion to the bejeweled male body appear in numerous personal accounts about the Eastern rulers’ predilection for extravagance and luxury. 17 Such reactions persisted among visitors who strolled through the India exhibit, aligning the princely opulence of India with exorbitant vanity and excess. At the Great Exhibition, the masculine pursuits of progress, machinery, industry, and science were clearly differentiated from feminine concerns with jewelry, clothing, textiles, and luxury. This division effectively aligned the interests and behaviors of Indian rulers with the consumption habits of women. Indeed, the process of miniaturizing and domesticating India at the Crystal Palace was simultaneously a process of feminizing the subcontinent.

Touted by the press as the “Lion of the Great Exhibition,” the Koh-i-Noor sat in its own specially designated exhibition space, isolated from the timeless “fairyland” of the India court. The three diamonds of Ranjit Singh’s armlet were removed from their setting and suspended between prongs in a manner that presented them in a more raw form (fig. 7). The Koh-i-Noor and its sister diamonds were displayed under a structure described by the Illustrated London News as “a golden cage or a prison” and by another observer as a “great parrot-cage with gilded bars,” topped with a small golden crown. 18 The grandiose display was ostensibly to protect the stones from theft, but this method of display also meant that viewers could only see the diamonds from a considerable distance, through the bars of a cage, and finally under a glass dome within which they were contained. Beneath its imposing enclosure, the diamond “appeared the size of a pigeon’s egg” or, as another spectator remarked, “not bigger than half a fair-sized walnut.” 19 The “Mountain of Light” that had been so widely reported in the press was rendered minuscule and unimpressive under the formidable confines of the British crown.

In addition to being thoroughly miniaturized and domesticated through its display, the Koh-i-Noor was also, like the India court, presented as a spectacle with a feminine appeal. Women in particular were reported as losing all sense of civility and public grace in the presence of the Koh-i-Noor. It was designated as “the loadstone [sic] of the fairer sex,” and one visitor remarked, “Wherever the ladies obstruct circulation and crowd one on the other you may be sure there are jewels exhibited.” 20 An illustration in the satirical weekly publication Punch demonstrates this correlation between women and the Koh-i-Noor diamond, as ladies in their imposing hoop skirts swarm around the jewel, which is completely hidden from view (fig. 8). The gold enclosure towers over them, its voluminous shape mimicking the rounded edges of the women’s skirts. The cage itself appears like a giant hoop skirt with a crown at its top, transforming the diamond’s confines into the imperial body of Queen Victoria, who subsumes the Koh-i-Noor and, by extension, all of India represented by it.

For hours, crowds waited to catch a glimpse of the fabled Koh-i-Noor, which “disappointed the public in no ordinary degree.” 21 Assuming it would be much larger, many were dismayed at its size, while others were confused by its “ungraceful peculiarity of shape” and the “ineffective manner” in which it had been cut. 22 In describing the appearance of the diamond, one author wrote rather unfavorably, “It was however almost devoid of shape. That it did not possess any beauty as an ornament, at least in that respect, may be surmised when we state that its conformation was, as near as possible, that of the hulk of a vessel, one of whose stern corners had been completely sliced off.” 23 Most disappointing of all, however, was that the diamond failed to shine. Under its massive cage, the stone “had by no means the dazzling lustre that its romantic history … would naturally lead you to expect.” 24 Various efforts were made to improve its appearance throughout the duration of the Great Exhibition, but nothing was successful at increasing its sparkle. “To ordinary eyes it is nothing more than an egg-shaped lump of glass. … On ordinary days, that is, the shilling days, it is exposed in its great cage, ornamented with a policeman, and they rely on the sun to cause it to sparkle but on the Friday and Saturday it puts on its best dress it is arrayed in a tent of red cloth, and the interior is supplied with a dozen little jets of gas, which throw their light on the god of the temple. Unhappily, the Koh-i-Noor does not sparkle even then.” 25 After all the attention that the Koh-i-Noor had garnered in the press before the opening of the Great Exhibition, even in “its best dress” the boorish “mountain” was no larger than a nut, and the “light” it cast paled in comparison even to the dull English sun.

Improving the Koh-i-Noor

Disheartened and ashamed by the diamond’s reception, Prince Albert resorted to science and technology to improve the Koh-i-Noor. He wanted the stone recut, an assault on the jewel that would increase its luster but inevitably reduce its size. That its shine did not meet the expectations of the public was due in large part to the manner in which it had been cut for its Eastern owners. Diamonds were first discovered and traded in India as early as the fourth century BC, and of greatest value to Indians was the crystal’s octahedral shape. 26 Interest had long been in preserving as much of the diamond’s natural size and shape as possible for the wearer to benefit most from the stone’s talismanic properties. The Koh-i-Noor was shaped in what is today referred to as the mughal cut, defined in the 1977 Diamond Dictionary as “an older style of cutting which is a rather lumpy form with a broad, often asymmetrical base, an upper termination consisting of a set of usually four shallow facets or a table, and two or more zones of strip facets parallel to the base and oriented vertically. It is derived from cleavage pieces” (fig. 9). 27 This method of cutting the stone generally required far less intrusion and loss than the rose cut and the later brilliant cut, both of which enhanced the diamond’s light effects through many small, inclined facets. 28 These more complex methods of cutting were preferred in Europe, with ever-increasing efforts to achieve perfect symmetry and the most brilliant sparkle. The Koh-i-Noor did not, therefore, conform to European tastes and was viewed as cumbersome, “badly mutilated,” and in “an incomplete condition.” 29

To correct the diamond, Albert first contacted a number of British academic scientists to seek their advice on how best to refashion the stone and release from the jewel its fullest light. 30 He next approached diamond cutters, many of whom refused to be implicated in the cutting of the Koh-i-Noor out of concern that it would be irreparably damaged. 31 A plan for the stone’s recutting was devised and submitted by the Coster firm in Amsterdam, assuring Albert that only a negligible amount of the carat weight would have to be discarded in the process. The plan was accepted and, on July 16, 1852, the aggressive procedure of reshaping the diamond began. 32 To inaugurate the process, the eighty-three-year-old Duke of Wellington was invited to make the first cut. He was the great savior of the empire and most venerated military leader in Britain for his successful campaigns in India and, more important, for having defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. As the emblem par excellence of British masculinity, his appointment as the first to strike the diamond further suggests an assertion of British masculine forces on the former emblem of Indian masculine power.

The press once again eagerly publicized Albert’s role in the process as a pioneer of progress, with a squadron of supportive scientists, technicians, and military heroes at his behest. He personally oversaw the thirty-eight-day process of the Koh-i-Noor’s transformation like the Great Exhibition in the previous year, the cutting of the diamond became his project, through which he could assert his masculine identity and inscribe it permanently onto the stone. The primacy of British technology, machinery, and taste would be carved into the Koh-i-Noor, and, if successful, it would be a victory both for Britain and for the prince consort. While the London press reiterated the Coster firm’s promise that the diamond could be cut without greatly reducing its size, the claim quickly unraveled as it became evident that the stone could not sustain such a drastic alteration without significant loss. In the end, 43 percent of the Koh-i-Noor’s original carat weight was lopped off the legendary 186-carat mughal cut diamond was replaced by a 105-carat oval stellar brilliant. 33

The Second Koh-i-Noor (1852–)

Meanwhile, in India, the deposed maharaja Duleep Singh was enduring his own civilizing process, having been placed by Dalhousie in the care of John and Lena Login in 1849. At age twelve, he decided of his own will to convert to Christianity and was enthusiastic about a visit to England. In an appeal to the Government House for permission to travel, the young maharaja wrote, “I wish to say that I am very anxious to go, and quite ready to start whenever his Lordship gives me permission. I do not want to go to make a show of myself, but to study and complete my education, and I wish to live in England as quietly as possible.” 34 Permission was granted, and he arrived in London in the summer of 1854.

Upon meeting him, Queen Victoria was so impressed by the fifteen-year-old maharaja’s handsome Sikh costume that she had Franz Winterhalter paint his portrait. A favorite of Victoria’s, the artist had Duleep Singh stand on a dais in order to elongate his stocky frame, explaining to him that he would “grow into” the picture. As the maharaja remained rather short his entire life, the painting portrays a svelte and excessively flattering version of the subject. 35 Winterhalter’s painting depicts the young king in his Indian finery, dressed in silks and wearing some of the jewels he was allowed to keep when the Lahore treasury was confiscated (fig. 10). Set against an imagined desert landscape with minarets and a dome in the distance, Duleep Singh stands in all his exotic princely splendor.

Amid his many jewels, a small portrait of Queen Victoria hangs off a five-strand pearl choker he wears tightly around his neck, a pendant that displays both his allegiance to and dependence on the queen.

It was while he was posing for his portrait that Victoria decided to show Duleep Singh the new Koh-i-Noor. An account from Mrs. Login’s memoirs describes the awkward encounter, during which the maharaja saw and touched his diamond that had been reduced to nearly half its size:

[A] slight bustle near the door made me look in that direction, and [I] beheld, to my amazement, the gorgeous uniforms of a group of beef-eaters from the Tower, escorting an official bearing a small casket, which he presented to Her Majesty. This she opened hastily, and took therefrom a small object which, still holding, she showed to the Prince, and, both advancing together to the dais, the Queen cried out, “Maharajah, I have something to show you!” … Duleep Singh stepped hurriedly down to the floor, and, before he knew what was happening, found himself once more with the Koh-i-Noor in his grasp, while the Queen was asking him “if he thought it improved, and if he would have recognized it again?” … [A]s he walked towards the window, to examine it more closely, turning it hither and thither, to let the light upon its facets … there was a passion of repressed emotion in his face, patent to one who knew him well, and evident, I think, to Her Majesty, who watched him with sympathy not unmixed with anxiety—that I may truly say, it was to me one of the most excruciatingly uncomfortable quarters-of-an-hour that I ever passed! … seeing him stand there turning and turning the stone about in his hands, as if unable to part with it again, now he had it once more in his possession! At last, as if summoning up his resolution after a profound struggle, and with a deep sigh, he raised his eyes from the jewel and … moved deliberately to where Her Majesty was standing, and, with a deferential reverence, placed in her hand the famous diamond, with the words: “It is to me, Ma’am, the greatest pleasure thus to have the opportunity, as a loyal subject, of myself tendering to my sovereign the Koh-i-Noor!” 36

When news reached Dalhousie of Duleep Singh’s gesture, he wrote that the “talk about the Koh-i-Noor being a present from Dhuleep Singh to the Queen is arrant humbug. He knew as well as I did that it was nothing of the sort: and if I had been within a thousand miles of him he would not have dared to utter such a piece of trickery.” 37 Duleep Singh made no mention then or ever about the many other jewels of the Lahore treasury that had, since their display at the Crystal Palace, been given to Queen Victoria by the East India Company “as a reward for her interest in their exhibit.” 38 Later in life, however, he would refer to the queen as “Mrs. Fagin,” a receiver of stolen goods, and make several unsuccessful attempts to reclaim the Koh-i-Noor and his kingdom, both of which he felt had been unjustly obtained. 39

The jewel-wearing kings of India had come to be aligned with opulence and femininity in England, with many of their precious gems, like Duleep Singh’s Koh-i-Noor, finding new homes on the bodies of English women. Marcia Pointon has proposed that diamonds worn on the bodies of British royal women could be read symbolically as expressions of fecundity and fertility (as opposed to pearls, which had become synonymous with the virginal self-fashioning of Queen Elizabeth I). 40 Yet, though diamonds in Europe were worn on women’s bodies, it was men who dominated the economic and scientific fields associated with them, establishing areas in which they could be involved with diamonds “without compromising ideas about their masculinity.” 41 Thus, staging diamonds on the body of a woman asserted a man’s wealth and power while simultaneously accentuating the wearer’s feminine beauty.

The Koh-i-Noor that had adorned the brows and biceps of Indian despots for generations was transformed into an ornamental brooch on the breast of the queen, with Prince Albert orchestrating and supervising the entire procedure (fig. 11). Wearing the diamond was yet another way in which Victoria’s private and public identities were conflated, bridging her body politic as female monarch with her body natural or body personal as adored (and adorned) wife. 42 Through it, she managed to enhance her feminine public persona, announce the power and affection of her husband, proclaim her imperial fortitude, and assert the conclusive subordination of India under her rule—all with just one stone.

During Victoria’s life, the Koh-i-Noor was set in a brooch, a bracelet, a tiara, and a regal circlet and continued to be reset following her death in 1901. 43 The diamond was placed in the crown worn by Alexandra for the coronation of her husband, King Edward VII, and subsequently by the queen consorts Mary in 1911 and Elizabeth in 1937. Elizabeth, the queen mother, was the last royal to wear the diamond, which was the central stone of her crown for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Since its arrival in England, and in keeping with the British effeminization of the Koh-i-Noor, the diamond has never been worn by a male, reserved exclusively for the adornment of queen consorts since the death of Victoria. 44

Afsluiting

The miniaturized, feminized, and domesticated India presented at the Crystal Palace stood in stark opposition to the grand masculinist principles of science, industry, and progress advocated by the Great Exhibition. The Koh-i-Noor itself endured a process of emasculation through its reduction and subsequent deployment as a decorative ornament reserved exclusively for women. That the Koh-i-Noor’s life in Britain is a metaphor for the civilizing mission inflicted on India is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the famous words of John Forbes Royle, who, in 1849, did not say that India was “the jewel in the crown” of the British Empire, but rather that India was the “Koh-i-Noor of the British Crown.” 45 Though its association with India is less palpable today than it was in the nineteenth century, in its altered form and current setting the diamond remains associated with imperial conquest and royal femininity.

The process of feminizing the stone heightened Albert’s masculine presentation through his imposition of Western science and technology on the diamond as well as his essential role in transforming the stone from a jewel of kings to an heirloom on his wife’s breast. When worn by Victoria, the Koh-i-Noor was more than just a symbol of India’s subservience it was, as with other British women who displayed diamonds, a declaration of her husband’s masculine power. In India the Koh-i-Noor had always been a power symbol of men, worn in their turbans and on their biceps as an emblem of valor and fortitude. In England, too, the diamond passed through the hands of many men who used it to assert their masculinity—at the jewel’s expense, however. Today, the Koh-i-Noor’s legacy among emperors, sultans, and maharajas has been erased entirely from its context and surface. Enshrined behind bulletproof glass at the Tower of London, the diamond remains a static symbol of the former submission of India to the British crown and as a decorative ornament in the regalia of British royal women.

Siddhartha V. Shah is a PhD candidate at Columbia University, specializing in South Asian and nineteenth-century European art. His research focuses on the opulence of the British Raj, emphasizing the role of traditional Indian ornament in displays of imperial power.

I am grateful to Vidya Dehejia, Anne Higonnet, Nancy Rose Marshall, and Meredith Martin for guidance and valuable suggestions. Archival research in the UK was made possible through the generous support of the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Fellowship at Columbia University.

  1. 1. “Something about Diamonds,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, vol. 19 (1859), 478.
  2. 2. Danielle C. Kinsey, “Koh-i-Noor: Empire, Diamonds, and the Performance of British Material Culture,” in Journal of British Studies 48, nee. 2 (April 2009): 395.
  3. 3. Ian Balfour, Famous Diamonds (London: Christie, Manson and Woods, 1997), 167.
  4. 4. Ibid.
  5. 5. Hipponax Roset [Joseph Rupert Paxton], Jewelry and the Precious Stones: With a History, and Description from Models, of the Largest Individual Diamonds Known (Philadelphia: Pennington and Son, 1856), 21.
  6. 6. Balfour, Famous Diamonds, 167.
  7. 7. Kinsey, “Koh-i-Noor,” 396.
  8. 8. Ibid., 394.
  9. 9. Balfour, Famous Diamonds, 168 Michael Alexander and Sushila Anand, Queen Victoria’s Maharajah: Duleep Singh, 1838–93 (New York: Taplinger, 1980), 15. Though Dalhousie arranged a durbar in which Duleep Singh was personally to offer the Koh-i-Noor to Queen Victoria, the young king did not arrive in London or meet Victoria until the diamond was already in her possession. What actually took place at this durbar, including how and to whom Duleep Singh gave the stone, is not clear.
  10. 10. Kinsey, “Koh-i-Noor,” 391.
  11. 11. Jeffrey A. Auerbach, The Great Exhibition: A Nation on Display (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999), 27.
  12. 12. Margaret Homans, “‘To the Queen’s Private Apartments’: Royal Family Portraiture and the Construction of Victoria’s Sovereign Obedience,”Victorian Studies37, no. 1 (Autumn 1993): 4.
  13. 13. Lara Kriegel, “Narrating the Subcontinent in 1851: India at the Crystal Palace,” in The Great Exhibition of 1851: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. Louise Purbrick (New York: Manchester University Press / Palgrave, 2001), 152.
  14. 14.“India and Indian Contributions to the Industrial Bazaar,” in Illustrated Tribute to the World’s Industrial Jubilee: Sketches, by Pen and Pencil, of the Principal Objects in the Great Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations (London: J. Cassell, 1852), vol. 4 of The Great Exhibition: A Documentary History, ed. Geoffrey Cantor (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013), 218.
  15. 15. Ibid., 236.
  16. 16. Ibid., 161.
  17. 17. An encounter in 1617 between Sir Thomas Roe and the Mughal emperor, Jahangir, conveys the effect of this mode of presentation on a European spectator: “Here attended the Nobilitie, all sitting about it on Carpets until the King came who at last appeared clothed or rather loden with Diamonds, Rubies, Pearles, and other precious vanities, so great, so glorious … his head, necke, breast, armes, above the elbows, at the wrists, his fingers every one, with at least two or three Rings fettered with chaines, or dyalled Diamonds Rubies as great as walnuts, some greater and Pearles such as mine eyes were amazed at. Suddenly he entered into the scales, sate like a woman on his legges, and there was put in against him many bagges to fit his weight.” See Sir Thomas Roe, The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to the Court of the Great Mogul, 1615–1619: As Narrated in His Journal and Correspondence (Hakluyt Society, 1899), 412. During his four years in the court of Jahangir, Roe repeatedly elaborated on the copious jewels worn by the emperor but rarely described his face or bodily features in any detail. See Romita Ray, “All That Glitters: Diamonds and Constructions of Nabobery in British Portraits (1600–1800),” in The Uses of Excess in Visual and Material Culture, 1700–2010, ed. Julia Skelly (London: Ashgate, 2014), 23. The remark that follows Roe’s lengthy description of the emperor’s adorned body—that he sits on the scales “like a woman”—suggests that a possible correlation between jeweled adornment and femininity informed Roe’s perception of Jahangir.
  18. 18. John Tallis, History and Description of the Crystal Palace, and the Exhibition of the World’s Industry in 1851 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 1:150.
  19. 19. “What the Richer Are We?,” in The Expositor: A Weekly Recorder of Inventions, Designs, and Art-Manufactures, 24 May 1851, 59, vol. 4 of Cantor, The Great Exhibition, 115.
  20. 20. Kriegel, “Narrating the Subcontinent,” 166 and John Lemoinne, “Letters of M. John Lemoinne,” in The Great Exhibition and London in 1851: Reviewed by Dr. Lardner & C. (1852), 573–92, vol. 4 of Cantor, The Great Exhibition, 10.
  21. 21. Z. M. W., “A Lady’s Glance at the Great Exhibition,” Illustrated London News, 23 August 1851, 242–43, vol. 3 of Cantor, The Great Exhibition, 160.
  22. 22. Ibid., 161.
  23. 23. Roset, Jewelry and the Precious Stones, 12.
  24. 24.“A Country Minister, Notes of a Visit to the Great Exhibition,” MacPhail’s Edinburgh Ecclesiastical Journal 13 (1852): 84–101 and 214–32, vol. 3 of Cantor, The Great Exhibition, 322.
  25. 25. Kinsey, “Koh-i-Noor,” 406. Kinsey is quoting John Tallis in Tallis’s History and Description of the Crystal Palace, and the Exhibition of the World’s Industry in 1851 (London, 1852), 2:150.
  26. 26.Herbert Tillander, Diamond Cuts in Historic Jewellery 1381–1910 (London: Art Books International, 1995), 17.
  27. 27. Ibid., 64.
  28. 28. Ibid.
  29. 29. Ibid., 149. In the appendix to his 1889 translation of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier’s Travels in India, V. Ball wrote that the Koh-i-Noor, when it first arrived in London, “had been badly mutilated, after cutting, and that it cannot have been left in such an incomplete condition by the jeweller who cut it and polished it.” See Tillander, Diamond Cuts in Historic Jewellery, 149.
  30. 30. Ibid., 413.
  31. 31. Ibid., 415.
  32. 32. Ibid., 416.
  33. 33. Balfour, Famous Diamonds, 170.
  34. 34. Alexander and Anand, Queen Victoria’s Maharajah, 39.
  35. 35. Ibid., 45.
  36. 36. Ibid., 47–48.
  37. 37. Balfour, Famous Diamonds, 171.
  38. 38. Alexander and Anand, Queen Victoria’s Maharajah, 48.
  39. 39. Ibid., 49.
  40. 40. Marcia Pointon, “Intriguing Jewellery: Royal Bodies and Luxurious Consumption,” Textual Practice 11, no. 3 (1997): 498 and 503.
  41. 41. Danielle C. Kinsey, “Imperial Splendor: Diamonds, Commodity Chains, and Consumer Culture in Nineteenth-Century Britain” (PhD diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010), 65.
  42. 42. Homans, “‘To the Queen’s Private Apartments,’” 4.
  43. 43. Balfour, Famous Diamonds, 171.
  44. 44. The story of a curse on the diamond that endangers men who wear it is often recounted, perhaps in defense of the practice in England of only deploying the Koh-i-Noor on the bodies of royal women. Indeed, after the diamond arrived in London, a rumor of a curse emerged, possibly started by the Delhi Gazette. The rumor stated that all who possessed the Koh-i-Noor were bound for ruin. This created such a stir in London that Queen Victoria personally wrote to Dalhousie asking if the report of a curse was true. His reply stated that, in fact, the diamond carried “Good Fortune for whoever possesses it has been superior to all his enemies.” The English newspapers, however, devised an even more effective response—the queen, being a British woman, rendered the curse on the exotic jewel ineffective as it applied “only toward the ‘Oriental’ despot.” Thus, the belief that the jewel can be worn only by women seems to have been fabricated in London and has no precedent in India. See Kinsey, “Koh-i-Noor,” 400–401.
  45. 45. Kriegel, “Narrating the Subcontinent,” 166.

The Koh-i-Noor armlet, ca. 1830. Gold, enamel, rock crystal, glass, rubies, pearls, and silk, 4 × 6 in. (approx. 10 × 15 cm) without fittings. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.


Diamonds on Location: Golconda

For nearly two thousand years, the word Golconda has conjured images of wealth, prosperity, and most importantly, diamonds. Did you know some of the most famed diamonds and gemstones originally hail from the Golconda region of India, today known as Hyderabad? Famous diamonds from this area include the Hope Diamond, Koh-i-noor, Idol’s Eye, and many more.

Take a closer look at the history of the region and famous, gorgeous diamonds that come from Golconda.

The ruins of the ancient Golconda Fort lie about 11 kilometers from the city of Hyderabad in southern India. Originally constructed in the 12 th century on a granite hill over 400 feet high, the Golconda Fort rose to prominence in the 16 th century as the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, only to fall under conquest by the Mughal Empire in 1687. The fort was a massive granite fortification housing a royal palace, treasury, mansions of nobility, and a bazaar where diamonds were traded.

Diamonds have been known in India since the 4 th century BCE or earlier. In the 13 th century, Marco Polo mentioned diamonds in his manuscript detailing his travels. Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the famed jeweler and traveler, wrote extensively about this area in his journal. Published as a two-volume work in 1676-1677, his Six Voyages provided vivid and compelling descriptions of the exquisite diamonds he saw there.

The original Golconda diamond mines were located outside of the fort, but within the territories of the Kingdom of Golconda. They comprised an area about 210 miles long by 95 miles wide. During the period of the 16th through the mid-19th century, there were roughly 20 mines in operation.Mining diamonds was difficult and arduous. Reports from the time period described different methods depending on terrain and area including tunneling and open pit mining.

The mines ceased most production by the early 20th century – but the Geological Survey of India periodically utilizes modern equipment and new exploration techniques in the area to discover if there are any diamonds to be extracted.

Famous Diamonds From The Golconda Region

Many famous large diamonds came from Golconda, like the Dresden Green and the Wittelsbach-Graff. Diamonds with documented histories that date to before the discovery of diamond deposits in Brazil are likely from Golconda, and their cut and shape may further indicate origin. They are typically cushion, oval, pear, marquise, but there are other shapes as well.

Another possible identifying characteristic of Golconda diamonds is their diamond type, which is directly related to color. Diamonds from the Golconda region tend to be type lla diamonds – quite rare since only two percent of all diamonds fall into this category. Type lla diamonds have no measurable nitrogen or boron impurities and because they are so pure, they transmit UV and visible light that type I diamonds block. Colorless type lla diamonds are exceptionally transparent. As was the convention of the time, a diamond’s color or transparency was described in comparison to water. Tavernier described Golconda diamonds as the first water, perfect water, beautiful water, etc.

Colored diamonds, like pink, can be type I or type II. The majority of blue diamonds are type IIb, and are also nitrogen-free and owe their color to traces of boron.

Even though diamond production in the region has ended, we are fortunate that some of the diamonds unearthed so long ago are still will us. In addition to their breathtaking beauty, many carry fascinating histories, as they changed hands and traveled continents through the centuries. Here are a just few for your browsing pleasure:

Koh-i-noor is one of the most celebrated Indian diamonds and perhaps the best-known. A modified oval brilliant cut, the 105.60 ct diamond is set in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Crown. This is the name of the platinum crown that was designed for Queen Elizabeth, consort (or wife) of George VI, to wear at the Coronation of her husband in 1937. The Koh-i-noor is now on display in the Tower of London.

The 105.60 ct Koh-i-noor diamond, set in the front of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Crown. Photo: Kenneth Scarratt. Courtesy: The Gemmologists, the Crown Jewels.

Le Grand Condé has also been referred to as Condé and Condé Pink. This 9.01 ct pink pear-shaped diamond from the Golconda region of southern India is on display at the Museé de Condé in Chantilly, France.

The Golconda ‘D’ is a 47.29 ct round brilliant cut, D color, Flawless diamond that is said to have originated in the Golconda region. Acquired by Laurence Graff, Graff Diamonds, in 1984, the early history behind this famous diamond remains a mystery.

A cubic zirconia replica of the 47.29 ct Golconda ‘D’. Photo: C.D. Mengason/GIA. Courtesy: Graff

The Idol’s Eye is a 70.20 ct Very Light blue diamond that has been described as being between and round and a pear shaped brilliant cut It is believed to have originated from the Golconda region.Another famous blue diamond from Golconda is the Hope Diamond.

The 70.20 ct Idol’s Eye diamond. Courtesy: Graff Diamonds.

While the Golconda mines are no longer producing, the stunning diamonds from this area continue to radiate the fortune and legend of the region. See more Famous Diamonds on our blog, like the Portuguese, the Jubilee, and Granny’s Chips (Cullinan III and IV). And if you want to learn more about where diamonds come from, read the other installments in our series: Diamonds on Location: Canada and Diamonds on Location: Lesotho.

A Guide to Promise Ring Meaning: The Promise Behind Promise Rings

Where are Diamonds Found? Spotlight on Canadian Diamonds

Engagement Ring Guide: Best Ways to Save Money on a Diamond

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Kyk die video: The Queen Opens Up On How Wearing The Crown Could Break Her Neck (Desember 2021).