Carrying forward a rich legacy

Carrying forward  a rich legacy

It’s been 86 years now, but this handicraft emporium and exclusive silver jewellery shop has stood the test of time to stand tall in G-block of Connaught Place. Unlike any other decked up or polished shop in CP, this place gives you a quaint, dusty old-world feel at first glance. Enter the shop and your senses will be swamped with the ‘busy-ness’ inside! 

Vibrant-hued handicraft items on the left side and deity printed T-shirts, colourful stoles and exotic cushion covers on the other, and occupying centrestage is Rippan Jain’s ‘Indian Artefacts’ stall. 

“This is a family shop run by three people,” says Rippan Jain, when asked how this shop is different from others. “We are one of the oldest shops in CP and want to retain it as it is. It is for this reason we are still continuing with old furniture and have hardly made any changes in the infrastructure of the shop,” he says. 

Established in 1928, the shop was initially a medicine and a general store. “It was till 1970, we continued with it and thereafter decided to switch over to jewellery and handicraft items. The reason for the change was that we noticed that there was a lot of competition in the market and handicraft was a flourishing business,” says Rippan, whose great grandfather started the shop before Independence. 

Recalling the history of the shop as he has heard from his grandfather and father, Rippan says, “We belong to Himachal Pradesh and had a shop in Shimla. Since we were one of the most popular shops in the City at that time, Viceroy Lord Mountbatten was one amongst our prime customers and had a good relation with my great grandfather Walayti Ram,” says Rippan. 

“It was the Viceroy who asked him to open a branch in Delhi too. So he did it. At that time popular British bureaucrats, foreign diplomats and Indian royalty, until Independence, in 1947, used to visit our shop,” says Rippan.   

Talking about the small Indian artefacts stall that Rippan has been handling, he says, “We used to sell ivory jewellery in the initial years. When it was banned we switched over to silver. So our speciality lies in ethnic silver jewellery items like earrings, anklets, bracelets, rings and neckpiece which we source from different parts of the country.”

Ask him if foreigners continue to be their major clients, he says, “Foreigners are not good buyers. Indians are spendthrift when it comes to shopping!”

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