Euro­pean In­flu­ence


The One-Pil­lar Hall il­lus­trates the sym­bio­sis be­tween the Euro­pean jew­ellery houses and In­dia and the cross-cul­tural in­flu­ences that oc­curred be­tween Europe and In­dia in the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies. The grands joail­liers such as Cartier, Chaumet, Mauboussin, Mel­le­rio and Van Cleef & Ar­pels all turned to In­dia for pre­cious stones and in­spi­ra­tion. The ma­hara­jas be­ing among their prin­ci­pal clients, they cre­ated an ex­tra­or­di­nary genre of jew­els com­bin­ing In­dian colours, mo­tifs and forms with Euro­pean el­e­gance and tech­niques. On dis­play are orig­i­nal draw­ings of Cartier and Chaumet’s cre­ations for Ma­haraja Bhupin­der Singh of Patiala and Ma­haraja Yash­want Rao Holkar of In­dore re­spec­tively as well as stun­ning jew­els by Van Cleef & Ar­pels and Mel­le­rio dits Meller’s ex­quis­ite pea­cock ai­grette set with di­a­monds and enam­elled in blue and green which once adorned the tur­ban of the dash­ingly hand­some Ma­haraja Ja­gatjit Singh of Ka­purthala.

Neck­lace; Cartier, Paris, 1925; plat­inum, di­a­monds, sap­phires, emer­alds; Siegel­son Col­lec­tion, New York.

Bayadère neck­lace; Chaumet, Paris, c. 1920; Joseph Chaumet; plat­inum, di­a­monds, sap­phires, seed pearls; Chaumet Col­lec­tion, Paris.

Trompe l’oeil sarpech clip; Van Cleef & Ar­pels, Paris, 1924; plat­inum, di­a­monds, ru­bies, sap­phires, emer­alds; Van Cleef & Ar­pels Col­lec­tion.

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