[Tidbits] Makari Malai

Makari Malai… a necklace for a man… and a wee bit o’ gossip.

So whaddya want first. Gossip? Or jewelry lore? Eenie meenie tippeh
teenie… ah la boom de-leenie… out goes… Well… here’s what it
is. Give me a choice between worldly knowledge and gossip… I’ll
end up taking gossip every time. Can’t resist. I think it’s part of
my genetic makeup. So here we go.

The year is 1957. The Duchess of Windsor wanders–as duchesses are
often wont to do–into the offices of Harry Winston. There …
presumably beckoning to her… is an Indian emerald drop necklace…
which she purchases and then subsequently wears to a grand reception
which is also attended by the Maharanee of Baroda. The Maharanee
recognizes the necklace on the spot. It had been made from a pair of
Indian anklets which–prior to sale–had belonged to the Baroda
collection. “My dear,” the Maharanee announced in a voice meant for
all to hear, “have you seen, she is wearing the beads I used to have
on my feet.” Suffice it to say the Duchess returned the trinket to
Harry the following day. As, by the way, would have I. Slurs–it
would appear-- can affect even the most noble of us all.

And now… with the aplomb born of years of practice… I shall segue
with barely a wrinkle visible in the fabric of Tidbits … to the Man
Necklace. There was a time in India when necklaces were traditionally
worn by men on their wedding day. This practice–alas–died out. If I
had to guess I would have to say this was caused–among other
reasons–by economic stresses. The necklaces were ostentatious to a
fault and very few survive for your viewing pleasure today as these
old pieces–no longer serving the purposes they were born to
serve–were usually broken up and remade into more affordable jewels.

Ah… but not to fret messieurs and mesdames. I have found an image
of such a necklace to show you. It is made of gold. It is set with
cabochon rubies and emeralds and has in its content over 535
diamonds. It is rather mildly magnificent and is most interesting
because–I surmise–that like a bridal gown… it is worn once on
the wedding day and then never again. Not too sure about this last
fact… but it rather tickles me to think it is so.

So there it is… on our pages… in one fell swoop… gossip and
ostentatiousness as they relate to worlds most of us will never know.
At least not this time around. That said… ya wanna see? Go. Go. Go
now. I got things to do.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at http://www.tyler-adam.com where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… and you will see represented on our pages a
rare necklace of the 19th century worn by men on their wedding day.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark