The 1920s in Calcutta. Opinion, discourse and debate raged all along the by lanes of North Calcutta. An age of conflict and passion. Writers, poets, artists, royals and freedom fighters. A time of rebellion. Between dusty Venetian chandeliers and weathered terrazzo floors. Where beauty in words, art, clothing, architecture and jewellery became a true pleasure. A strangely interesting time for jewellery making in Bengal—where European techniques meet Mughal heritage and Bengali filigree craftsmanship. With echoes that cross over from the Georgian age to Belle Époque. The Bengal Royale collection is Sabyasachi’s classic ode to an era of iconic thought, craftsmanship and sartorial brilliance.
THE ESPLANADE NECKLACE
It began with four of the twelve perfect pairs of rubellites—the brilliance of red just right in each. Sabyasachi imagined a necklace in perfectly proportioned pairs of varying shapes, facets and cabochons. And then the hunt began. The Esplanade is crafted in gold with over 222.33 carats of rubellites and crowned with old mine and brilliant cut diamonds.
“The handful of times I venture into the infamous parties of Calcutta, I sit down in a quiet corner, doing my favourite thing—watching people. Between the jazz and clamour of a smoky evening, my eyes find a solitary woman sitting on a printed velvet sofa. A limp cotton sari, punctuated with blood red rubies, swirling a glass of scotch in her hand and silently eyeing the room around her.”
THE BAGHBAZAR NECKLACE
An homage to precious stones, fine craftsmanship and the glamour of Calcutta. The Baghbazar is crafted in gold with 130.24 carats of emeralds, a solitary 26.23 carat yellow sapphire and crowned with old mine and brilliant cut diamonds. The back is intricately crafted in the house’s signature Bengal filigree craftsmanship and studded with EF VVS VS diamonds.
“Growing up in Calcutta, I was fascinated by how the private was so much more exuberant than the public. Hand embroidered chemises and printed satin petticoats under humble cotton saris, decrepit homes with extravagant art and Osler chandeliers, and the most magnificent of terrazzo floors hidden beneath dusty carpets. Perhaps that is why the back of my jewellery is as lavish as the front.”
“Bengal’s grand history of handcrafted jewellery almost faded away because of a lack of patronage. I want to bring this legacy back.”