Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 347. Attractive emerald and diamond necklace | Bhagat 祖母綠及鑽石項鏈.

Property of a Lady of Title


Attractive emerald and diamond necklace | Bhagat 祖母綠及鑽石項鏈

Auction Closed

November 9, 08:04 PM GMT


400,000 - 800,000 CHF

Lot Details


Property of a Lady of Title

Attractive emerald and diamond necklace, Bhagat

Bhagat 祖母綠及鑽石項鏈

Designed as a fringe of graduated boteh motifs, each set with a drop-shaped emerald and brilliant-cut diamonds surmounted by an emerald bead, supporting a pendant designed as a lotus, set with an oval emerald supporting drop-shaped emeralds, further set with pear-shaped, brilliant-cut, briolette and baguette diamonds, length approximately 400mm, signed Bhagat.

Artistry runs in Viren Bhagat's blood. His father, Vajubhai Bhagat, was a teacher of fine arts and an artist in his own right. Viren spent much time at his father’s side watching him sketch and often found himself in the presence of his father’s circle of artist friends, regular visitors to the family home. In essence, art was his world from birth as, it seems, was his destiny, to become the fabled jeweller we know today.

Not only was Viren steeped in a home life of creativity, he was also introduced to the world of jewels via the family business. Started nearly a century ago in a small village in Gujurat, the family went on to establish a department store in Mumbai. Here Viren saw the gemstone dealers trading with his father and uncles and watched polishers and setters at work. When the department store closed in the late 1980s, Viren traveled to Kuwait to work with his uncle in his jewelry store and also traveled to Italy. It was during this period, that the young Bhagat came across Bulgari’s designs. This proved to be an epiphany moment for him, a realisation that he too had the freedom and desire to design. He sent a collection of early sketches to Gianni Bulgari who offered him a position on the strength of them, but ultimately, Bhagat decided to return and re-open the Bhagat house with his two brothers. Later his two sons also joined the family firm, as the fifth generation of jewellers at the company.

Bhagat’s design process begins with his sketches, always executed using the sharpest of pencils. The resulting fluid lead lines which form his designs flow, perfectly proportional with, as Viren suggests, an almost architectural precision. Sketches can of course be a starting point for a Bhagat jewel, but more often than not, it is the stone which dictates the design. In describing his creative process, he says it often begins at the point of purchase; when a gemstone is bought, he already knows what he will make with it and likens this to a silent conversation with the gem, through which the design emerges.

Each jewel has its origins in India, with Viren basing his designs on motifs found in Indian textiles, Mughal paintings and architecture. However, unlike traditional Indian jewellery, yellow gold gives way to platinum, the metal du jour during the Art Deco era. Viren closely aligns his work with the quality found in 1920s and 30s Cartier jewels - a hybrid of East meets West. He works with a limited colour palette; the light and minimal nature of platinum is complemented by the Maharantani, or the five great stones: diamond, natural pearl, ruby, sapphire and emerald. These are often cut specifically for the design, a task which is rarely undertaken in this day and age. Diamonds, for example, are often cut as briolette or table-cuts, as seen in traditional Indian jewellery, but in true Bhagat style, the traditional is modernised by pushing the boundaries of what is possible, for example creating table-cuts of extraordinary proportions. This is extremely difficult for a cutter to achieve and an attestation to the skills of his artisans. From the inception of the design to the setting and polishing of the final jewel, every step is completed under Viren’s watchful eye and is proudly made in India. It is testament to the lengths at which he is prepared to go to achieve a level of excellence which jewellery connoisseurs have come to associate with his oeuvre. 

His creations are highly sought after, with only 50 pieces or less, being produced each year, many of which find themselves in museums and private collections. These sleek translations of traditional motifs combined with white metal and beautiful stones are the essence of the clean modern signature style Bhagat excels at creating. In his own words: “My endeavor is to present jewellery in today’s context by creating pieces that are modern and India-inspired at the same time.” It is this which resonates with an exclusive and select group of jewellery collectors around the world.