Art for me is a way of connecting with the universe and our heritage. Walking among artwork gives me a feeling which is a mix of happiness, satisfaction, peace and pride. I owe my introduction to the art world to my legacy and my family. Being from a family which has a long-standing history, one tends to grow up being educated about heritage, legacy and heirlooms. Fascinated by the stories shared with me about our heritage and our legacy, I developed a keen interest from a very young age. This was my first motivation and fueled by my creative spirit I started my art collection journey.
Some people do find it a little strange that I have a keen interest in art collection at my age since it is considered as more of the virtue of the wise and elderly. But my fondness and attraction towards art prevail. My taste can be described as very earthy and culturally oriented.
My journey has taught me that building an art collection of particular works of great quality and provenance, involves considerable investments, not only financially but also time, research, networking and studying. Most likely, we have more artworks displayed at our palatial hotel Noor Mahal, Karnal than any other hotel in the country.
The real value of an artwork and antique is in the superior craftsmanship that showcases the richness of culture and its story makes it invaluable. Strategically building a collection creates a lot of value and satisfaction.
Every artwork in itself is a great story, our art collection is dominated by earthy pieces collected from over the world which personify India’s royal cultural heritage and greatness. Some of the rare artworks that we have included the 18th-century vintage Patiala bar trunk from the personal collection of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh. It was a tailor-made trunk designed and made in London. The elegant custom made with Burma teak wood & burl veneer originally patterned using ancient Italian Manuscript from Florence gives this piece a uniquely refined look. It is really urbane with a reflection of heritage and unmatched taste. With carefully selected fine pieces of Brass, Wood and suede, this trunk is a unique collectible. Custom-crafted crystal-ware carefully fitted in individual niches and drawers along with classic bar accessories and customized designer brass water outlet sink has its unique beauty.
A Burma teak wood vintage palatial door, hand-carved rich with beautiful detailing, these are a priceless masterpiece. The hand carving and patterns not only depict the Indian mythology but also adorn the interiors of the havelis or palaces. The carpenters who traditionally make these doors belong to the Suthar community that comes from the Barmer district in the western part of Rajasthan. The community still resides near Jodhpur and the surrounding region. These absolutely magnificent set of antique doors accentuate our signature Khwabgah Presidential Suite.
We have a Vintage Jewellery trunk box of Nepalese Royal family. The Kingdom of Nepal was founded in 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king who succeeded in unifying the kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur into a single state under his Shah dynasty. Around the globe, Nepal is particularly famous for its use of heavy ornaments and jewellery. The origin of the Nepalese ethnic jewellery art goes back to many centuries before our era – the era of the gods and legends which narrate the sacred Vedas. Historically, the rise of jewellery art was fixed in Nepal during the rule of The Licchavi Dynasty (10th century) and The Malla Dynasty (15th century).
Silver White metal Temple Doors, 18th century beautifully handcrafted doors made of white metal/silver sheet mounted over carved teak wood. This set of doors is designed especially for stone temples which were made near the border areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It has a customized design with figures of god – goddesses, animals, birds, leaves and flowers. It also has a beautiful small jharokha khidki for the Agarbatti aroma to travel outside when the temple is closed also for visitors during aartis. Intricate and traditional kunda kadi has been used on these doors. Temple door is made of quality seasoned teak wood only as it is naturally termite proof and has possibilities of much fine and better carving due to its higher density but lighter weight. This shows the deep thought, laborious process and knowledge used by the craftsmen.
The collection is also enhanced with the presence of rare paintings of Maharaja and Maharani made with real gold and natural paints embellished with semi-precious stones, Bofor’s Gun Shell used in Kargil war, one of the three exclusive Swarovski chandeliers in the world, rare royal maharaja kanghis (combs) embellished with silver and precious stones, rare Mughal era paintings and antique janglas from blue star operation.
Very recently we have added extremely precious artwork to our collection. Last year we purchased splendid works of the celebrated Padma Shri Satish Gujral. We have also added to our collection the works of contemporary artist Jayesh Joshi. Exquisite and beautiful vintage jewellery pieces of ancient sea cut that we have bought from heritage jewellers Jagdish Jewellers of Patiala have tremendously enriched our collection. Also the rare and magnificent Persian Silk carpets from the mid-18th century are invaluable for us, we have displayed them in Noor Mahal.
For our new project in London, where we aim to highlight and promote Indian cultural heritage, we have procured an elegant collection of vintage crockery, dinner sets and decanters from the royal family of Faridkot. And vintage Tanjore art pieces from various locations in South India.
I like to actively participate and keep up with the world’s art auctions such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s, etc. and also search for prized treasures in India. With our new venture in London, I want to highlight and celebrate Indian art and cultural heritage of India’s royal era on foreign land.
My journey of building a collection has been a fulfilling and enriching experience, as I feel art is extremely important. It is our responsibility to conserve it for today and tomorrow of our world. Art should be something one feels. I like to take risks and invest in artwork which is an unconventional but undoubted treasure.