Antiques Roadshow: Inside Coomi’s Den of Antiquity

The utopian concept of a peaceful planet inspired Coomi Bhasin’s playful pendant, which is composed of seven B.C.-era antiquities. “With all the problems in the world today, I wanted to show that if we have unity, we can work together to solve things,” says Bhasin. “Every antiquity in this piece is from a different area and a different era; when I brought them together, I felt like I was connecting the world.” The raw-looking construction of ancient jewelry and art also informed the design: “In the B.C. era, they used to hang stones and shells and flint, really anything they found, to create a work,” says the designer. The pendant gussies up museum relics in whimsical ways (note the Peruvian carved figurine wearing gold sunglasses): “It’s a serious piece, but it’s not at all serious.” 

Motley Crew

The palm-size pendant was created using seven separate antiquities—many of which were formerly housed in museums—originating from around the globe (ancient Egypt included). The piece is set in 20k yellow gold, and features 1.82 cts. t.w. diamonds, 0.33 ct. t.w. citrines, 3.38 cts. t.w. blue sapphires, 0.49 ct. t.w. yellow sapphires, 2.36 cts. t.w. emeralds, and 0.61 ct. t.w. peridots. It can also be hung on a wall as art; Bhasin created a small hook just for that purpose.

Separate Pieces

The pendant, which is priced at $45,000, was created in Bhasin’s Bangkok workshop through the efforts of five skilled craftspeople. Everyone was mindful of protecting the integrity of the antiquities. “You have to work in a way that you’re not damaging them,” she says. “You also can’t overwhelm them in a design. Each piece has to stand out by itself.”

Art History

Bhasin’s father collected antiquities, and she often incorporates them into her designs: “About five years ago I found that I had so many pieces that my father had collected over the years, and I thought, You can’t display them all—why not just wear them? I think the body is the very best canvas.”

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