Be it the Chandbalis or Polki Necklaces and Jhumkas of Mughal period or the Palaka Mala and Nagapadam worn by the Thamburatis of Kerala, every girl dreams of owning a quintessential piece of jewellery, which will make her stand out in a crowd.
If you have the fetish for traditional jewellery and want to own a unique piece that when teamed up with a classy Kanchipuram sari will indeed grab you the spotlight in a function, ‘Jewels of Vintage’, the exhibition-cum-sale of classic jewellery being organised by Mary Alapatt is something not to be missed.
Mary is Design Head at Alapatt Heritage Gold and Diamonds and married to the partner, Antony Alapatt. The exhibition, inspired by timeless Indian tradition is being held at the Alapatt’s flagship store near Madhava Pharmacy Junction on M.G. Road, Kochi.
As to why they are conducting such an event, Mary says that by such exhibitions they intend to provide knowledge about traditional jewellery to the present generation and develop their liking towards it.
“Jewellery has been a part of the cultural fabric and we should take pride in the expanse of our traditional jewellery, which has stood the test of time. Therefore, our motive is not only educating the present generation about long forgotten traditional Indian jewellery designs and techniques, but also to provide access to rare and unique pieces of such jewellery to the most discerning clients”.
Mary added that, “Despite being one of the largest gold consuming State, not many jewellery retailers in Kerala cater to customers who want something really different from the usual plain gold.”
She says even though they deal with rare traditional Indian jewellery handcrafted by master craftsmen at various ancient jewellery making centres in India, they hadn’t publicised the availability of such jewels in their store until recently. “Jewels of Vintage” is part of their effort to make such jewellery available to the more customers right here in Kochi.
The event has received a warm welcome and has gained wide acclamation within a short span. Though the focus is on ethnic jewellery the organisers say that women nowadays prefer light weight yet classy styles and thus they have taken extreme care to display Indian traditional ornaments lighter than their antique inspirations without compromising on their beauty, design and elegance.
The exquisite jewellery range in display includes- Nizami range, which includes handcrafted jewellery by the descendants of Karigaars (craftsmen) who made jewellery for the Nizams of Hyderabad. The pieces have been set with the highest quality uncut diamonds, original South Sea pearls and magnificent rubies and emeralds from Rajasthan.
The “Nakshi” collection from Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Tamil Nadu and the traditional Maratha jewellery from the ancient towns of Kolhapur and Gokak at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka is an exquisite blend of the past and the present.
Mary says that majority of the customers come in search for Chettinad or South Indian traditional jewellery. The temple jewellery collection has been prepared to cater to the needs of traditional jewellery lovers and comprises of long lost designs in necklaces and pendants embellished with precious stones, uniquely designed jhumkas and Chandbalis, as well as all time favourites like ‘Kasumala’, ‘Mangamala’, ‘Mullamottu Mala’, ‘Manga Mayil Haram’.
Organising such an event is not an easy matter and the manner in which it has been set up indicates that lot of intricate research has been gone into selecting each and every piece that is on display. Mary says that frequently travelling to almost all major jewellery making centres across India and working closely with the best Kaarigaars helps them maintain exclusivity in design and procure the best quality of uncut diamonds and precious stones for their collections.
Mary is overwhelmed by the response from the public and assures to come up with more of such events every year.
Disclosure: The Kochi Post office is situated at Centre A, a business centre in Kochi, owned and maintained by the Alapatt Group.