LUXURYCULTURE.COM - The Jewels in Cartier's Crown

LUXURY NOW / LUXURY AS A LIFE FORCE / THE JEWELS IN CARTIER'S CROWN

Cartier steps back in time to the magnificent days of majesty, as we adore the modern-day Maharajas of Inde Mystérieuse, a dazzling ensemble of Mughal inspired magnificence.

This season Cartier once again captures the essence of India's historical ruling classes with Inde Mystérieuse, a spectacular collection of heirloom inspired treasures dating back to the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Incorporating modern luxe into tradional styles, interchangeable corsages harking back to the jighas and sarpeches that once adorned the turbans of royalty are eleganty embellished with ribbed emeralds, engraved rubies and pearls. The illustrious Cartier tiger leaps across the hand in a flash of yellow diamond and onyx, but the star in this collection's crown is the 63.66 carat pear-shaped diamond that drips hypnotically with all the majesty of the ceremonial finery of the illustrious jewels of Sir Vhupindar Singh, Maharaja of Patiala. Once created for the men of the realm, these modern day reinterpretations of regal refinement look set to rekindle an ardour for the exotic.

Cartier's well-documented, and reciprical love affair with India dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Maharajas impressed by the jeweler's savoir faire and the cache of Western workmanship entrustred their precious parures and family heirlooms, while Cartier drew inspiration from the art of the Orient.

In November 1913 Cartier paid homage with an exhibition of twenty magnificent pieces, shown on New York's Fifth Avenue. Inspired by the richness and diversity of Islamic and Indian art, the dazzling beauty of Moghul jades, the splendor of Kashmiri sapphires and the incredible workmanship of engraved emeralds, each piece was a breathtaking modern reinterpretation of ancient adornment, as well as a cultural and gemological journey. Cartier brought the riches of India to the West and the clients couldn't get enough. All were soon captivated by the same beauty and exoticism that had seduced the Cartier brothers during their journeys.

A triumphant meeting of two worlds - India with the profusion and tremendous variety of its gemstones, and the West, with its rigid structures, its settings and its unique movements - created a magnificent mix of sensuality, paired with artistic geometry, not forgetting Cartier's trademark attention to subtlety and simplicity which continues to set it apart, even today. Traditional Indian decorations were transformed by Cartier, in keeping with the highly stylized fashions of the 1920s of the world's capitals.The fusion was achieved with the utmost attention to simplicity, a detail which became the much admired hallmark of Cartier's Indian inspired collections.

In the 1990s the company revisited the beloved sub-continent, with "On the road to the Indies", inspired by one of the country's most consecrated creatures, the elephant. In 2000 the recreation of Sir Bhupindar Singh's famous bejeweled heirloom, followed by the notable "Star of the South" diamond, which, though originally hailing from Brazil was mounted on a bracelet for the Maharaja of Baroda and displayed at the 2006 Biennale des Antiquaires once again reignited the passion for such majestic examples of Oriental refinery. Fast-forward to today, Cartier's Inde Mystérieuse embodies the essence of unadulterated luxe with all the magic of majesty of India's glorious past.

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