Jadau Jewellery

Jadau jewellery is for the true connoisseur of jewellery art, for it combines the elegance of scintillating Polkis, the intricacy of gleaming Kundankari and the artistic aesthetics of Meenakari.

A rather breathtaking combination, the craft of making Jadau jewellery has been practiced since the Mughal era in the north-western states of the Asian sub-continent. It is the true amalgamation of the Islamic art, Mughal grandeur and traditional jewellery crafting techniques of the region. Flat-cut diamonds and colorstones are inlayed into a pure 22K gold case using Kundankari style of of setting. Once individual Jadau components of sheer beauty are shaped, embellished, inlayed and finished by the craftsmen in at least 3-5 stages, the ‘Patua’ or stringers lend the pieces the superior finishing it deserves. It is truly the’Patua’ or stringing artistan’s skill which provides the style, movement and character in a creative expression.

Kundankari

Kundankari or ‘Kundan’ setting is one of the oldest technique of setting of gemstones into jewellery forms, tracing the origin back to the Royal courts before the emergence of the popular ‘claw-setting’. The word Kundan means ‘pure gold’ in Sanskrit and this particular style of jewellery involves using ‘kundan’(Meaning pure gold in sanskrit), a 24K pure gold ribbon. Each gemstone or polki is set into place by the ‘kudankaaz’ or the expert gem-setter expertly compressing narrow ribbons of 24K pure gold or ‘kundan’, layer upon layer, to form a solid wedge around each gemstone. The setting of gems in the sea of yellow is what makes this particular design a visual delight.

Meenakari

Meenakari is a form of enamelling work on jewellery unique to India and is said to have flourished under Raja Mansingh of the Rajputana royalty who brought expert enamellers from Lahore to set up ‘minakari’ karkhanas in Jaipur, popularising the ‘Champleve’ technique of enamelling on 22K gold in Jadau jewellery. Geometric shapes from islamic tradition were interwoven with the acanthus, lotus , birds , flowers and animal forms of hindu aesthetics.

Having learnt this craft from his Persian counterpart, the Indian jewellers experimented and thus perfected their skills to raise the benchmark of enamelling to an unparelled artform.

Chittai & Partash: Engraving work

Superficial engraving is done on the back-side of the 22K Jadau pieces using a sharp tool and a scrapping action which follows a pre-marked design that is etched onto the gold. Chittai is mostly a pre-requisite to the Champleve form of enamelling where troughs or cells are carved into the surface and hand filled with an enamel layer upon layer to set the powdered fluid color using a furnace, thus manifesting a colorful design pattern and justice to its minute detailing.

Partash was introduced by the Mughals and dates back nearly five centuries in its tradition. Just like gemstones are inlayed in the magnificient Taj Mahal, flat-cut precious gems, cut with the precision of the stone-cutters deft fingers are inlayed into 22K gold and the surrounding area is enhanced with ‘partash’, a shallow but intricate engraving of a non-geometric fluid design. Partash work is the most labour intensive, taking days and sometimes months, to complete a single piece of ornamentation.