Thiruvananthapuram: From grand palace courts and temples where deities reign supreme come jewellery that Krishnan Nair and Sons – KNS Jewellers, painstakingly revives. For KNS Jewellers, each piece that their master craftsmen create is a revival of history, once adorned by royalty and temple deities A meeting with Suman Suresh, Managing Director, ensures you’ll emerge
Thiruvananthapuram: From grand palace courts and temples where deities reign supreme come jewellery that Krishnan Nair and Sons – KNS Jewellers, painstakingly revives.
For KNS Jewellers, each piece that their master craftsmen create is
a revival of history, once adorned by royalty and temple deities
A meeting with Suman Suresh, Managing Director, ensures you’ll emerge more informed than before. Under the watchful eye of the dynamic jeweller, the store in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram has been introducing rare pieces of antique jewellery, each a sight to behold. Antique jewellery is that which was once used to adorn temple deities and members of royalty. She says, “Royalty did not use jewellery merely for ornamentation. Rather, it conveyed discreet messages to other members of the governing circle. Motifs of gods engraved on the pieces were meant to ward off the evil eye.”
The mudra mothiram, a KNS offering of a stunning ring with a parrot perched on top, was once used only by royalty. “The direction in which it was worn by the king or queen, and on which finger, was used as a cue by the minister to execute decisions. The parrot head could also be opened to reveal a chamber with a message inside.” Suman has the mudra mothiram made in limited numbers, as with all other patterns, as they take months of labour.
Constant research is what drives Suman and her sister Sunanda, be it through books or by talking to people. She says the jewellery worn by the Travancore royal family, is as priceless. “The haara or garland with an emerald pendant that falls at the chest of the Maharaja, worn during the araattu procession of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, tells us that there are patterns followed by the royals even today.”
From the ashta lakshmi maala, jadaau maala, udyana maala to many more, the gemmologist and jewellery designer has been taking a chance, not knowing how they would be received by clients.
“The goldsmiths in our team are from families my grandfathers have been working with. Yet, there’s no telling if the coming generations will be able to craft the same patterns that their ancestors created.”
Suman commissioned a design that combines the traditional coin necklace with a miniature Goddess Lakshmi motif linking each coin to the main piece and a central pendant of the goddess again. While open to custom orders for smaller versions, she bemoans compromise on workmanship. “Anyone is welcome to the store for wearing the kaashu maala and experiencing the difference,” she says.
She notes that there are people who are resistant to the dull finish. “Or they don’t want elements. You can’t alter traditional sensibilities too much and still call them antique designs,” she says.
But Suman has also had the satisfaction of watching the pieces being picked up in no time by those who believe in saving for posterity.
Suman has observed that it is clientele in their 40s and 50s who place orders specifically for antique designs to add to the family heirloom. Though KNS Jewellers has developed a customer base among the younger crowd Suman would like for them to go beyond a desire to simply keep up with trends. “These days, every bride wants antique jewellery. Unfortunately, of late, it is seen more among people who follow social media and express their desire to wear what other people are wearing. It would be a great joy to know that this desire comes out of the longing to own an exquisite piece of art or after knowing the history of the jewellery they have chosen.”