“A legendary matriarch of the House of Naksha is reborn as a beautiful young girl, hand-wrought in pure guinea gold using techniques and instruments of trade more than a century old, and care...
“A legendary matriarch of the House of Naksha is reborn as a beautiful young girl, hand-wrought in pure guinea gold using techniques and instruments of trade more than a century old, and caressed into shape by loving hands that have kept the great heritage of Kolkata goldsmithery alive and well through a hundred years and hopefully, with your appreciation and patronage, will nurture it to the highest office among all Indian craft where it shall dwell happily ever after.”
This is what we wrote as the end statement to the Navina Naksha Pendant in September 2017. It applies here as well as this pair of earrings is nothing but the progeny of Navina.
Being the identical twins as matched earrings to that timeless jewel, The Navina Naksha Dul is nothing new yet new. The double crescent with the traditional floral chasing on each is replicated but the padma pasha has a graduated lower surround of ball beads instead of the pearl-embedded chaktis of the pendant.The roundels, in this case, have thick posts behind the central flower in each to ensure the earrings aren’t pried out of the pierced earlobes because of the downward pull of the naksha crescents with their pearl-ball fringe and the polished jhumkas with their big drop-pearl clappers. The naksha motifs, triangular wire-ball scallop and the jhur-jhumka arrangement remains unchanged from the pendant.
It’s not as if a matched pair of earrings of the same scale is necessary to complement the Navina Pendant. In fact, not so at all. If anything, the pendant is a stand-alone jewel and these earrings are, too. Sometimes, we grow to love an ornament so fully and with so much of our soul invested in it that we feel we need to complete it by having a parure made of the same design. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a wonderful and, actually, prudent thought. Over time, bit by bit, you could add the handswear, tickly, and, if you so like, a khopa jewel as well. It's a ceaseless delight to include in life, at reasonable intervals, intensely personal effects as beautiful as these. A deserving ring or a single ratan-choor also would not be out of place.
There’s a critical aspect to this enterprise, though. The naksha-wallah who did the original must complete the later ornaments as well. Different hands wouldn’t have the same nuances of chasing and the identical motifs would feel at variance with the original, albeit minutely so. But you’re an expert at this now, a connoisseur of naksha and other kinds of recherché workmanship that make Bengal jewellery the institution it is. You would never compromise on the details. So, remember, don’t take too much time to get the whole set done. Virtuoso naksha-wallahs are rare. And mercurial as they are, their undiluted love for the art of chasing cannot be doubted or discounted. You will make your handcrafted guinea-gold masterpieces within your lifetime, yes, but be certain as well to make them within theirs.