These bejeweled Mughal-era spectacles are up for sale
and could fetch up to $3.5 million each in auction
Location: Sotheby’s Auction House, London
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SPECIALIST, ARTS OF ISLAMIC WORLD AT SOTHEBY'S, ALEXANDRA ROY, SAYING:"We are offering these two pairs of extraordinary spectacles in our sale of the Arts of the Islamic World and India which is taking place on the 27th of October."
The glasses were commissioned by an unknown prince in the 17th century
They are believed to boost spiritual enlightenment
This pair is called 'Gate of Paradise'
and features emerald lenses set in diamond-mounted frames
This one is called ‘Halo of Light’
with diamond lenses set in diamond-mounted frames
“There are so many stories behind these spectacles. I think I will start with the fact that the emeralds came all the way from Colombia in the 17th century through Portuguese merchant ships to the Mughal empires, the Mughals absolutely loved gemstones. The diamonds came from the Golconda mines and at the Mughal court, these were cleaved from stones which will have originally weighed two to three hundred carats, and so you must imagine the amount of mastery involved. And they were also originally another side, is that originally they would have been in the shape of purslanes so their current settings are 19th century settings, so they were re-fashioned in their current 19th century spectacle like fashion."