Antique 18th -19th century Gold Embroidered Mughal Indian Heraldic Necklace Order

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A splendid antique, 18th-19th century, large Mughal Indian heraldic necklace, "Order," finely hand embroidered with gold metallic bullion and threads and adorned with green sequins.

This type of luxurious embroidery embellished with metallic threads is called "zari zardozi" and came to India from Central Asia in the 12th century. The name "zardozi" comes from two Persian words: zar or zarin, which means 'gold,' and dozi which means 'sewing,' and is a heavy and elaborate metal embroidery on a silk, satin, or velvet fabric base.

For centuries, this ornate and sumptuous craft was patronized by the Islamic monarchs of India and flourished in the Mughal Empire.

This beautiful embroidery was once used to enrich the attires of kings and royalty in India. The treasure of Akbar included a wide range of garments embellished with metallic embroidery.

The way "zardozi" is known now is the process of sewing embellishments on fabrics using a metal-bound thread. The work involves making elaborate designs using gold and silver threads. Studded pearls and precious stones often find a place between the meandering golden streams. Shimmery pieces of spangles, stones, and sequins are also sewn to create resplendent patterns on cloth.

The pieces created this way are timeless, passed down through generations, just like this craft.

This necklace features a Royal Crest depicting a unicorn and a lion holding an armorial shield, crowned by a turban with a large 'sarpech' turban pin with feathers.

During the collapse of the Mughal Empire in British colonial India, various Indian princely states ruled by local monarchs used crests designed on the pattern of the royal coat of arms of Great Britain with the unicorn of Scotland and the lion of England holding an armorial shield.

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The neckband in the form of a chain is adorned with butterflies and flower heads, embellished with ruby color paste jewels, and ended with braided metal-thread string for fastening, with gold metallic fringes.

This elaborate necklace was probably made to embellish an important ceremonial court robe used on state holidays, testifying to the importance of the owner's status in the court hierarchy.


The necklace was given to a Canadian soldier during World War II stationed in Great Britain by an English family with whom he was staying.

The necklace was brought to England from India during the 19th century by one of the ancestors of this family, who served for the British crown. Other than this information, the origin of the necklace and how it was acquired in India was unknown to this English family.

CONDITION: Fairly good condition for its age. Showing age and use, surface with old dirt, dust, and natural patina.

The necklace was professionally custom framed some time ago in Canada in a gold gild frame under a special UV protection glass.

Because the necklace is placed behind glass, it is almost impossible to take good-quality photos that capture excellent work and color details.

The necklace looks much more impressive than in the pictures.


Frame height: 81.5 cm (32.09 inches).

Frame width: 37 cm (14.57 inches).

Item Details

Reference #:
Antiques (approx100yrs)
18th -19th century
(Width x Height X Depth)
x x
gold metallic bullion