June 19th will see the world-famous Christie’s of New York open one of their most anticipated auctions called ‘Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence’. In addition to the jewellery pieces once owned by the Patiala royalty, it will showcase and make available ornaments once owned by the Kapurthala royal family also.
The ‘Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence’ auction will feature ‘the Patiala ruby choker’ which once belonged to Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and a ‘carved emerald brooch and interchangeable jigha mounting’ which was once purchased by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala in 1905.
The two much sought-after items are expected to the highlights of the auction. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh was known as a ‘connoisseur of diamonds’ and was an owner of jewelled arts from around the world.
The ‘Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence’ auction will comprise 400 pieces of jewellery which will showcase the illustrious culture of Indian jewelled arts from the Mughal period as well as the age of the maharajas.
According to Christie’s, the Patiala ruby choker created by Cartier in 1931 was a superb example of the fusion between India and the West. It was commissioned by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, one of Cartier’s most important Indian clients of the 1920s and 1930s. “The Maharaja often travelled to Paris with trunks of diamonds and gemstones from his treasury for Cartier’s workshops,” it said.
Meanwhile, another piece of royalty attached with the Kapurthala royal family is also to go under the hammer on the same date. Created by Cartier, it is the carved emerald brooch and interchangeable jigha mounting which uses an impressive 19th century hexagonal carved emerald of 380.98 carats. The two-sided carving depicts Lord Rama, his wife Sita, Hanuman, and a poppy blossom on the reverse. It is expected to fetch a price of USD 300,000-500,000.
“The enamel and diamond peacock aigrette, by Mellerio dits Meller, was purchased by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala in 1905 during one of his trips to Paris. The maharaja was captivated by the peacock motif of the aigrette, a bird that is still greatly revered in India. In later years, the aigrette was worn by Anita Delgado, his fifth wife, whom he met while wearing the jewel on his own turban,” said Jennifer Cuminale, Christie’s PR Manager in New York.