|Baroda Crown Jewels.Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris, 1949–50 reenaahluwalia.com/blog|
The very mention of Indian Maharajahs conjures up imagination of of their impressive palatial palaces, fabled jewelry collections, their pomp and elegance and the colorful paraphernalia that used to accompany them. They led a luxurious life that no one could ever imagine. Their resources were so vast that literally they never ever saw the other side of their lives - poverty. Even a local ruler lived a rich life. The British, when they came to India for the first time, were in a state of shock over the way the Indian rulers were leading their royal lives. In spite of their personal luxurious life style, they ran the kingdom well and the subjects not only loved them but also had deep respect for them. The rulers needed all these pomp and elegance to match their royal status. Many of them were good collectors of gems and jewelry and had fabulous collections.
In the palace, they had numerous employees to take care of their personal needs, including their wardrobe, jewelry collections, etc., They were synonymous with all that were elegant and appealing.
|Maharajah Dilip Singh of Lahore. 1852. www.reenaahluwalia.com|
Above image: Maharajah Dilip Singh of Lahore 1852 is shown here at age fifteen. Among many other jewels, the young prince Dilip Singh is wearing a diamond Sarpech (Indian turban ornament) or aigrette with three plumes and a centrally placed emerald.1852. Portrait by George Beechy.........
|diamond encrusted sword www.reenaahluwalia.com|
Above image: This 2000-carat, King Edward VII's diamond encrusted sword was gifted by Maharajah SirMadho Singh
The Maharajah of Jaipur, Sawai Sir Madho Singh Bahadur, presented this artistic gem studded, diamond encrusted sword to King Edward VII to mark the king's coronation in 1902. Made from steel and gold, enameled in blue, green and red, the diamonds are set in a design of lotus flowers and leaves. It was an eye-catching exhibit at the Jubilee Celebration' exhibition at Photo:© PA
Below image: Necklace, platinum with rubies, diamonds and pearls.made by Cartier for ruler of Patiala,1928 .........
|Necklace, platinum with rubies, diamonds local-moda.blogspot.in|
|Maharajah Yadavinder Singh, victoriaraj.wordpress.com|
|Maharajah Yadavinder Singh. Patiala necklace Guides - Wikinut|
De Beers diamond and the other large stones were missing and were apparently removed by early owners. Cartier Bought the necklace and took roughly 2 years to restore it to the original It took two years for Cartier to restore the necklace to its original beauty , using synthetic stones to simulate the distinct colors of the diamonds and other stones of the original.It is probably one of the most privileged and expensive jewelry in Indian history.
|Maharani of Patiala, 1920./local-moda.blogspot.in|
hose are the original dimensions of the famed Patiala Necklace, on display in the Maharaja exhibition. This magnificent work of art is the largest ever commission from the House of Cartier, and once adorned the neck of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. - See more at: http://artmatters.ca/wp/2010/12/#sthash.FzANt6Vj.dpuf
hose are the original dimensions of the famed Patiala Necklace, on display in the Maharaja exhibition. This magnificent work of art is the largest ever commission from the House of Cartier, and once adorned the neck of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala - See more at: http://artmatters.ca/wp/2010/12/#sthash.u2dSUcZu.dpufIn 1982, the De Beers diamond came up for auction at Sotheby’s in GenevaEqually impressive were the dresses worn by Maharanis, matching the elegance of Maharajahs. As for royal ladies, they preferred simple costume in the morning. The maharanis wore simple cotton saris (to encourage the Indian hand loom industry) and in the evening more expensive Georgette or chiffon ones.They were mostly sometimes embellished with embroidery or decorated with a golden border to enhance the appearance and elegance. In the the late 19th century, because of western influence, they began wearing western garments as well that included dresses made of silk and muslin and new jewelry pieces as tiaras and brooches.
| Ruler Umaid Singh, Jodhpur (1920) diamond and |
The rulers of Hyderabad - Nizams were very rich and one of the rulers - Nizam Osman Ali Khan was the richest man in the world decades ago till his death in 1967. They were known to have one of the largest collections of jewelry in the world. Their famous collection included exquisite jewelry collection with Deccani, Rajasthani and Lucknavi artistry. Many old timers are aware that when India became independent in August, 1947, Nizam Osman Ali Khan was reputed to have had the largest and the most valuable and tantalizing collection of gems and jewelry in India. When Hyderabad joined the Indian Union, the Indian government bought the entire collection from him, which according to experts, may be worth INR 15 billion in international auction. In 1995 the Indian government bought the jewels for 218 crore (about US$70 million). There are 173 jewels, including over 25 thousand diamonds, weighing over 2.4 kg. There are also 2000 emeralds, some of them Colombian, which weigh over 2.0 kg. The collection
|Turban ornament from the Nizams collection.local-moda.blogspot.in|
included, besides above, necklaces and pendants, belts and buckles, earrings, armbands, bangles and bracelets, anklets, cuff links and buttons, watch chains, and rings, toe rings, and nose rings. Note-worthy piece of jewelry included the seven-stringed Basrah pearl necklace, known as Satlada, which has 465 pearls embedded.
Among the many notable jewels Indian Maharajahs and Nawobs used to wear are the ones that adore their turban, Wearing turban by the Indian rulers is part of the tradition and most of them preferred bejewelled turbans. Sarpech or turban ornament was quite famous and its size and gem qualities might vary among the rulers. The Nizam used to wear the turban ornament on certain important occasions on his head.
|Nizam Jewelry /www.diamond-jewelry-pedia.com|
Above image: Nizam Jewelry - Sarpech-khurd-zamarrud-wa-kanval-almas (left) and Sarpech-yakhoot-wa-kanval-almas (righ).......
Sarpech-khurd-zamarrud-wa-kanval-almas was set with over 30 emeralds (total 510 ct) and diamonds (total 90 ct). It was bought by Indian govt. in 1995 for INR 50 million.
Sarpech-yakhoot-wa-kanval-almas set in gold, with rubies (110 ct) and diamonds (111 ct) - total weight 145.65 gm - was bought by govt. for INR 20 million.
Above image: Royal Indian Jewelry - Maharajah Pratap Singh Rao Gaekwad wearing the original seven strand "Baroda Pearl" necklace...........
The “Baroda Pearls”, belonging to the Baroda royal family, was an impressive necklace consisting of a 2-strand natural pearl necklace with 68 graduated pearls up to 16 mm in size assembled in the 1850's. The necklace fetched almost USD 7.1 million at Christie's auction house in New York in 2007.
|Ruler Rameshwar Singh, Darbhanga. www.diamond-jewelry-pedia.co|
Above image: Ruler Rameshwar Singh,Darbhanga; Naulakha Haar" necklace of pearls, diamonds and emeralds..........
Maharaja Rameshwar Singh of Darbhanga of Bihar was a keen collector of valuable gems and jewelry and over a period of time had a vast collection - the third best gems and jewelry collection (after Nizam and Gaekwad) in the post-independence era of India. The most fabulous of the Darbhanga jewels was the "Naulakha Haar" - a long beautiful necklace of pearls, diamonds and emeralds. Maharajah Rameshwar Singh bought it in 1901, from Nepali Prime Minister Dhir Shamsher Rana, who not only was forced to step down from his post but also was low on cash and he needed money urgently to meet contingency.
|Maharajah of Mysore. skarmanspassion.blogspot.com|
Above image: Bejeweled Maharajah of Mysore (now Karnataka). Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London ........
Rulers of Mysore were patrons of good jewelry, besides being builders of palatial palaces. Maharajah Sir Sri Krishnaraja Wodiyar IV Bahadur of Mysore, 1906 - wearing a necklace made of pearls diamonds and emerald.
|Image courtesy: Chaumet.|
Above image: End of 19th century uniform of a Maharajah: rendering by Chaumet staff designer, showing the ensemble of ornaments comprising diamonds, emeralds and pearls. Courtesy Chaumet.
|whiskey-colored diamond jewelry,www.diamond-jewelry-pedia.com|
|Turban ornament,1934. www.reenaahluwalia.com|
|Photo credit: Smithsonian|
Above image: It was once the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace belonging to the Maharani of the former state of Baroda, India this emerald stone has fine clarity and color. Its original weight was 38.4 carats, but re-cut and set in a ring designed by Harry Winston, where it is surrounded by 60 pear-shaped diamonds totaling 15 carats. It is among the world's finest Colombian emeralds. Photo: Smithsonian