Created in 1971, this Indian necklace was part of the collection of Her Highness the Begum Salimah Aga Khan. Born Sarah Croker Poole in India in 1940, during the final days of the British Empire, the future princess was known for her beauty and considered a fashion icon even before her 1969 marriage to His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan in 1969. After the wedding, she and the prince settled in France. Particularly fond of art and jewelry, the princess assembled a remarkable collection of original and distinctive jewels. This impressive necklace, specially commissioned by her husband, is one such creation. Its value and uniqueness lie in the precious stones adorning it: more than 745 diamonds totaling 52 carats cast their sparkle upon 44 engraved 18th century emeralds weighing over 470 carats. Transformable into a choker, two bracelets and a clip, this necklace is a spectacular specimen of the art of metamorphosis dear to Van Cleef & Arpels.
Drawing featuring Indian style necklaces, circa 1965.
Van Cleef & Arpels Archives