The National Museum in New Delhi is a veritable treasure house for the students and lovers of ancient Indian culture, The museum has a huge hall displaying objects related to earliest known Indus valley culture of India. Few months back, I was viewing exhibits in this hall, watching with wonder the amazing progress and development made by the Indus valley civilizations some six thousand years ago. I was particularly enmoured by a wide range of personal jewelery consisting of earrings, necklaces and bracelets or bangles, made form ivory, beads, stones, silver and above all pure gold. Some of the designs are so exquisite that many ladies would love to wear these designs even today.
Humans have always loved to wear jewelery or ornaments. Many types of metals, beads, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls and jewels are being used to make ornaments since days of Indus valley civilizations till today. Still, Gold was and is, always preferred to make jewelery.
There is an upper limit to which one can wear jewelery on a human body. It is believed that the famous courtesan of the medieval India, ‘ Vasantsena’ wore exquisite jewelery, which almost covered her entire body. However normal humans may not be able to wear, more that few kilograms of jewelery on their bodies. When a monarch or an extremely affluent person wants to announce his power and wealth by displaying jewelery worn by him or by his spouse, there are obviously practical limits. Such wealthy persons then started getting hilts, pommels, guards and scabbards of swords, gilded with gold sheets and embedding jewels in the gold covering. The items of daily use such as utensils, table ware, chairs, beds were also gilded with silver and gold. Very powerful Monarchs had their thrones covered with gold embeded with precious jewels.
When demand for such finely crafted objects started to rise, many medieval craftsmen developed skills to craft out beautiful gold jewelery and such other gilded objects embedded with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls. A tradition, at least five millenia old, exists today in India of such fine gold and silver craftsmanship.
In today’s world, many fashion houses and corporate identities, have developed their specialty haute couture brands. Such companies, for example ‘Cartier’, produce a whole range of watches, fashion apperel, accessories, watches and pens studded with jewels, creating a brand awareness. In India, such brand awareness has emerged only recently. An Indian watch making company with a brand name ‘Titan’ has recently launched a jewelery brand named as ‘Tanishq’. This company, to highlight the old tradition of Indian craftsmen to create gold jewelery and other objects embedded with precious jewels has created a new high-end brand called ‘Gold Plus’.
Mr. Bhaskara Bhat, the managing director of this company feels that this gold craftsmanship has not remained secluded with the rich and away from the common Indian family, which always proudly possessed and added exquisite jewelery to its hold. To commemorate and celebrate this grand tradition of gold jewelery making, this company thought of creating a classic gold gilded object, which also would be embedded with jewels. To emphasize the relationship of the common Indian family with such artisanship, company chose TATA Nano car, which has been created for the common man and is the cheapest car in the world. Company decided to gild a Nano car with gold and silver.
The company has now presented this Golden car to the people of India. The gold surface of the car is embedded with semi-precious stones in traditional Indian designs. The car uses 88 Kilogram of Gold along with 15 Kilogram of silver. The original Nano car costs just 3000 US Dollars. Making of this jeweled Nano has costed the company, a staggering amount of 4.6 Million US Dollars.
Legend says that once upon a time, India was a fabulously rich country. The royal throne of the Mughal emperors was gilded with gold sheets and was embedded with precious jewels. We of the present generation are not fortunate enough to see or even imagine about this throne. We might however satisfy ourselves by viewing and appreciating the Golden Nano car created by Gold plus. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the photographs of this fab creation right here.
1 October 2011