Devi (1917 - 1989) was known the world over for her extravagant
lifestyle as the wife of Maharaja Pratap Singh Gaekwar of Baroda,
the 8th richest man in the world in his day.
She was a great
beauty with a love for fine jewelry. She was high society, very
popular and extremely outgoing in her ways. Sita Devi showed
off her jewelry in a non-tradition Indian way. Even though she
wore fabulous saris, she would make sure that the beautiful fabrics
didn't cover up any of the jewels being worn, and, her head was
usually uncovered. She even smoked in public!
was a regular customer of Harry Winston, Cartier and Van Cleef
and Arpels. Sita Devi was also the proud owner of the famous
seven-strand Basra Pearl necklace, the 34.65-carat Princie Diamond
(one of the largest pink diamonds ever found valued at 40 million
dollars), the Dresden (78.5 carats) and the Star of the South
diamonds (128.48 carats).
are known to own some of the worlds most expensive gemstones
and jewelry. The wearing of these jewels brings to light India's
fine craftsmanship, exquisite designs and it's riches.
Jewels of a Maharani
was inspired by the style of jewelry known as Kundan. The word,
Kundan, means "pure gold". The process is to make a
thin gold foil that either sits between the gemstone and the
mount to reflect light or the foil is pressed and molded around
the edge of the gemstone or pearl. It is one of the oldest forms
of jewelry made and worn in India.
In the case of
this design, an oval CZ is bezeled and mounted on top of a shaped
tubular structure. Two netted pearl ropes, evoking the style
of Kundan, pass through the main terminal focal piece and end
in a sliding clasp.
Workshop: This is a one-day workshop.
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
Tubular, even-count peyote stitch with shaping
Flat circular peyote stitch with increasing
Flat, odd-count, peyote stitch using step up/step-down techniques
Tubular filled netting