Cartier’s reach to the Far East is one for the books. In the early 1920s, the Maharaja of Patiala himself voyaged all the way to France and commissioned Louis Cartier to rework his family’s crown jewels with the Parisian je ne sais quoi. The Maison now revisits the momentous occasion with the all-new Maharajah necklace.
A collaborative masterpiece by designers, jewellers and engineers that clocked up 4,566 hours of labour, the necklace pays homage to ceremonial rivières of the Indian royals. This is seen in how Cartier put the pieces together in accordance with ancient Indian know-how, traditions and above all its uber vibrant aesthetic.
Colombian and Zambian emeralds, Burmese rubies, sapphire beads and brilliant-cut diamonds create a symphony of colours that further highlights the centerepiece — a pendant made up of 19 engraved emeralds. Each gem is set in a fine metal band, a lace-like structure pinned to the back of the necklace.
Heightening the visual effect of the pendant, Cartier added minute sapphire beads to finish each emerald drop. The juxtaposition of the intense blue and vivid green not only symbolises the colour pairing that’s dear to the house but it also guides the eyes to the pendant as the focus of the spectacular necklace.
The Maharajah echoes the brand’s savoir-faire with its detachable function that allows it to be worn in eight different ways. For instance, the inner ruby section of the necklace can be taken out and transformed into a choker, while the outer section of it can be sported on its own.
Tassels and clusters of emeralds surrounding the central motif can be removed to create a lighter version of the jewelled piece while the central constellation can be styled as a pendant on a chain, with the bands of sapphires turned into a pair of earrings that may be worn with or without the emerald drops.