From the top of the fascinating Merhangarh Fort in Jodhpur, the magnificent Indian city appears like a delicate puzzle of houses and refined havelis in infinite shades of blue, the sacred colour of the Brahmin caste. A vivid, unforgettable memory of my first trip to Rajasthan is also the elegant inspiration chosen by Claire Choisne, Creative Director at Boucheron, for “Bleu de Jodhpur”, its most recent and sophisticated High Jewelry Collection.
Recently unveiled in Paris, under the patronage and cooperation of His Higness Gaj Singh II, the present Maharajah of Jodhpur, the collection is divided in four different sections, all inspired by the purest Indian traditions. The connections between the renowed French jeweller and India is indissoluble. Louis Boucheron in fact visited the Indian subcontinent for the first time in 1909, charmed and fascinated by local arts and traditions. However, it was in 1928 that the relations with the Indian princes reached its peak. In that year, Bhupinder Singh, the fabulous Maharaja of Patiala, made a stop in Paris in order to have reset by Boucheron the entire royal treasury from traditional yellow gold to the ultra refined platinum that become de rigueur for its exquisite lightness. Memorable the scene of several Bhupinder Singh servants coming out in a row from The Ritz and crossing Place Vendôme en route to Boucheron with seven coffers containing unimaginable amount of diamonds, emerals, rubies and pearls.
Inspired by the incredible archive of the time, the new collection enchants with a spectacular fringe necklace of rock crystal drops degrading from the centre to the sides, outlined by diamonds and sapphires in soft gradations, all set on faceted roundels and elegant articulated links. The main rock crystal drops are decorated according to the millenial kundan technique by which delicate small gardens set with sapphires and diamonds bloom on the cabochon surface of the main stones. The Rajahsthan is a magnificent but often arid land, every woman has the right to wear her own small or big personal jewelled garden. The traditional silk cord, adjustable on the nape, is now a white gold torchon with end tassels paved with diamonds and sapphires, a very chic detail to enhance the plunging necklines. The real coup de théatre, however, is the fact that the necklace is absolutely and perfectly reversible: its other side reveals an absolute whiteness achieved with the use, for the main drops, of the precious white Makrana marble, the same used in the middle of the Seventeen Century for the construction of the fabulous Taj Mahal in Agra, combined with the icy lights of diamonds, with the central one of kyte-cut, exceeding six carats.
In the collection Boucheron renews its tradition for animalier jewels with a beautiful bangle portraying a whimsical parrot, often the beloved mascot inside the fabulous gardens of Indian royal courts, with eyes and feathers set with sapphires and diamonds and the white marble body that softly wraps the wrist. The fortess city of Nagaur inspires instead a very elegant seven rows pearl necklace, seven being a sacred number in the Hindu tradition, interspersed with diamond links, from which hangs a magnificent rock crystal pendant set with diamond floral motifs and a lower tassel of pearls.
Inside, with an unexpected fairy- tale touch, the sand of the Thar Desert, not far from the city, connects the jewel to the land that inspired it in such exquisite way. The classy matching earrings, decidely Twenties, recall the motif of the lower part of the necklace, with finials and links set with diamonds. The delicate and feminine Mendhi set in entirely detailed with diamonds set on the traditional mango leave motifs that mimic the henna tattos with which the most somptuous Rajasthani brides decorate their hands and ankles on the eve of their wedding.
Fantasy is free to dreamily travel in one of the most beautiful and fascinating regions in India: thanks to the skills and creative talents of Boucheron and its unsurpassed craftsmen, the myth is transformed into exquisite, spectacular, sublime jewels.
Text by Adriano L. Davoli
In collaboration with the fashion magazines, Collezioni: www.collezioni.info