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.