The collection

The Maharani of Patiala’s Choker

Cartier Paris, 1931; restored and restrung to the original design by Cartier Tradition, Geneva, 2012
Rubies, diamonds, pearls; platinum settings
H. 2.2 cm; L. 33.3 cm

This choker, a Westernized version of a traditional Indian guluband, is the smallest surviving component of a lavish matching set made by Cartier in 1931. The order was for Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. The lion’s share of the lavish orders he placed with Cartier in 1925 and Boucheron in 1928 concerned men’s jewellery, but in 1931 he commissioned Cartier to make a series of pieces for the women in his family.

The exclusive use of rubies, combined here with pearls and diamonds, had no precedent in traditional Indian jewellery.