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Stone cutters & polishers

Stone cutters & polishers

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 15/10(10)

Item number: 10

Length: 14.2

Width: 19.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of three men at work cutting and polishing stones in the modern state of Jammu and Kashmir, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. Stones have been used in Indian jewellery since the earliest of times and those used range from small stone beads and semi-precious inset stones to fine cut diamonds. The range of tools used to cut and polish stones have also hardly changed since ancient times and include the diamond-pointed drill (vajra) for boring holes into beads and grinding wheels (sana chakra), made of a mixture of molten shellac (laksha) and crushed corundum (kuruvindu) cooled and made into discs. The gemstones used for the famous inlays of the Taj Mahal were crafted using this method in the seventeenth century.

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