Jewels fit for a maharajah: India's most magnificent royal gems - worth over £1.5 million - go on display inside the Kremlin | Mail Online
Jewels fit for a maharajah: India's most magnificent royal gems go on display inside the Kremlin
India’s most beautiful and magnificent jewels have been gathered from across the world and put on display in the Kremlin in Moscow.
More than 300 dazzling pieces of jewellery and jewelled objects, some of which are up to 500 years old, are being brought together for the first time as part of the India: Jewels that Enchanted the World exhibit.
The British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum have loaned some of their precious treasures, alongside over 30 other museums, institutions and private collections from around the world. The jewellery includes bejewelled dancing peacocks, stunning pieces of gold decorated with flowers made of gems, necklaces made of golden wires, and elaborate crowns and hair jewels fit for gods and goddesses.
Some of the oldest and most elaborate pieces date back to the Mughal courts where gold, gems and enamel were designed to reflect the power and culture of the conquering and lavish Mughal dynasty. Turban jewels, emblems of sovereignty, sparkle with table-cut diamonds, while rigid collar-necklaces are studded with gems and cascade down the neck. The genius of Mughal design and craftsmanship are illustrated by armbands set with diamonds, exquisitely enamelled bangles with animal-head terminals and a tiny box, set with 103 exquisitely carved emeralds.
One section of the exhibit shows off jewelry from the late 19th and early 20th centuries when India and Europe began to cross cultures and influence one another. Famous brands such as Cartier, Chaumet, Mauboussin, Mellerio and Van Cleef & Arpels all turned to India for precious stones and inspiration. Sapphires, emeralds and rubies carved into flowers and leaves became an integral part of Cartier’s 'Tutti Frutti' style.
The maharajas were among their main clients and for them they created an extraordinary jewels combining Indian colour, motifs and forms with European elegance and techniques. Cartier’s creations for their most esteemed client, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, consisted of an entire range of jewels.
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