Fit for a King: A sautoir steeped in Indian tradition


Indian maharajahs were famous for their opulent lifestyles. The title “maharajah”, or “great king”, conjures up images of wealthy men living extravagant lives, which was true from the 18th century up to the mid-20th century when maharajahs owned vast swathes of India and lived in splendid palaces. Even though the romanticised version of maharajahs has been confined to history books, it’s still possible to dress like one. At the recent Masterpiece art, design and antiques fair in London, a sautoir fit for a maharajah went on display.

Designed by JAR and exhibited by Symbolic & Chase, the necklace is set with natural pearls and Colombian emeralds. It features the world’s largest certified old cushion-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 114.63 carats and was formerly owned by a countess. The necklace is valued at an eye-watering HK$238 million, and its versatility allows it to be worn as a long necklace or doubled up for a shorter, layered look.

“The necklace is unbelievable,” says Masterpiece chairman Philip Hewat-Jaboor. “ To have this stone, to discover its history and to have it mounted by one of the greatest jewellers… it’s an extraordinary thing.”

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