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Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India

Mughal Jade Turban Ornament
Mughal Era, Deccan, 18th century
Jade (nephrite), diamond, spinel and emerald in 22K gold
14 cm.

Reserved for the wealthiest and most powerful, this jigha ornament, designed to be tucked into the folds at the front of the turban, is one of the few known to have been fashioned from jade. White jade, also known as “mutton fat” jade, was believed to ward off heart disease and high blood pressure. The jigha often takes the form of a feather, and some early jighas had a small pocket (parkhane) in the back of the jewel into which heron feathers would be placed when it was worn.

Courtesy of a private collection. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA.