Samina Inc was founded in 1999 in Mayfair, London, by Dr Samina Khanyari and is the only gallery to specialise in rare and collectable antique jewellery and jewelled arts of India.
The gallery collection reflects the opulence of Mughal and Deccan Court Life from the 17th to the 19th centuries, showing the extraordinary craftsmanship of the Imperial workshops at these Courts.
Rare Collectable Indian Jewels
Indian and Islamic works of Art
By appointment only
33 St. James's Square, London, SW1Y 4JS
T: +44 20 3170 6076
F: +44 20 7286 3633
What they say about us:
That you are viewing this website means you probably have a bit of a thing about Indian jewellery. And if you don't already, you will by the time you have met Samina and seen her collection. Samina specialises in collectable, wearable art. Which is about as intoxicating as it gets. Why buy extravagant accessories, when she can find you something that is museum quality, can increase in value, and will look fabulous? Moreover, what could be more exciting than owning a piece that has witnessed the extravagances and splendour of Mughal or Deccan court life? And yet it comes to us not only presented in a glass case, but also as beautifully wearable and as alluring as the day it was made.
What Samina has managed with this collection is to run the gamut of opulence from the 17th to the early 20th century. Where the Mughals finished the Maharajas took over with enthusiasm and vigour. These were all people with unimaginable resources, creativity and passion to commission extraordinary jewellery.
This collection is packed with diverse and exciting pieces: from kundan set pendants to a rare set of five fabulous gold, diamond and onyx clockwork spinning buttons-an immensely fun fancy created in Europe for a well-known Nawab.
The pendants show the various kundan techniques. The group includes a delightfully pretty 17th century one in ruby-set rock crystal, a beautiful diamond, ruby and emerald set one with unusual engraved and chiselled gold, and a very rare and important one with tawiz (amulet) cut rubies, which were usually worn as feature gems on a string of pearls or a cord. This pendant has an exceptional Colombian emerald centrepiece. Two of the most wearable pieces are the pair of 18th century gold bangles, kundan set with table-cut diamonds. For us, they are greatly opulent, in their time however, they would have been everyday wear for Royal ladies.
Bazubands (upper armbands) are easily convertible to regular bracelets and Samina has some beautiful examples, such as the one featuring a very rare, flat cut, Kashmir blue sapphire set in gold. The back is enamelled with the image of Vishnu standing on a lotus pedestal, holding the discus and conch. This early 18th century piece is all the more important as it is so unusual to have blue sapphires in Indian, particularly Hindu, jewellery.
Samina also has an eye for extraordinary objects. There is a beautiful 17th century Mughal chape from a sword scabbard, made from nephrite jade, set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds. The gem quality stones and the extraordinary craftsmanship of this piece undoubtedly suggests a princely commission for a ceremonial sword.
Samina has legion devotees who realise that as the only gallery to specialise in rare and collectable Indian jewellery, she is the finest resource of magnificent pieces. As a well-kept secret among the cognoscenti, her collection displays the breadth of her knowledge, quality of her eye, and ability to find appreciative new homes for these extraordinary pieces.
Editor of Tatler, London
Founder of TopTips.com
Former Jewellery editor of The Times, London. Kate Reardon also writes regularly for Vanity Fair and other well-known publications.