On June 19, Christie’s New York will auction off over 400 diamonds, colored stones, and jeweled objects from the historic Al-Thani collection in a landmark event appropriately named “Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence.” To mark the occasion the auction house commissioned portrait photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank to shoot some of fashion’s most influential women modeling pieces from the collection. I love Frank’s creative direction of the portraits and how each woman’s attire (or in some cases, lack thereof) complements the glittering jewels. From Mughal paintings to contemporary jewelry designs (this elephant masterpiece by JAR has long been a favorite), the collection is brimming with treasures both commissioned by the noble families of India and dreamt up by the greatest design houses. Above, writer and style icon Marina Rust wears an antique emerald, diamond, pearl and enamel tikka; a pair of antique diamond, pearl and emerald earrings; and an antique diamond, ruby and enamel kada (and pulls them off with great panache, if you ask me!). Below, explore more of society’s swans and social media stars wearing a handful of the sale’s remarkable gems.
Lauren Santo Domingo wears an antique diamond Rivière necklace and a Belle Époque diamond jigha.
A close-up of the Belle Époque diamond jigha which is typically worn on a turban.
And a close-up of the antique diamond Rivière necklace that Lauren is wearing above (estimates have it selling for 1.2 – 1.5 million!)
Maya Haile Samuelsson wears an antique diamond, emerald and enamel sarpech; a diamond, ruby and gold bazuband; an antique ruby, diamond and enamel bracelet; an antique ruby, emerald and gold hawking ring; and a gem-set gold archer’s ring.
Erika Bearman wears an antique emerald bead and pearl necklace and an emerald bead and diamond bracelet.
Amanda Alagem wears an antique diamond and multi-gem sarpech; a pair of antique diamond and enamel bracelets; an antique diamond and enamel ring; and an antique diamond and gold paizeb.
Teresa Lourenco wears an antique diamond and spinel sarpech and ‘The Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace’, an antique diamond, emerald and enamel necklace.
A close-up of the diamonds and emeralds in ‘The Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace.’
Veronica Swanson Beard wears a Belle Époque diamond devant-de-corsage brooch by Cartier.
Laila Gohar wears an antique emerald bead and pearl bazuband; a pair of antique enamel and multi-gem paizebs; and an antique emerald and gold ring.
Maria Duenas Jacobs wears a diamond and emerald necklace.
Lauren Bush Lauren wears an antique emerald and diamond sarpech (and a gorgeous dress—I’m guessing it’s Ralph Lauren).
A close-up of the antique emerald and diamond sarpech.
Last but not least, I love this shot of Aerin Lauder wearing an antique diamond, emerald and ruby necklace. Plus, her gown is shocking pink perfection.
(photography by Claiborne Swanson Frank for Christie’s New York)