In 1300 there was Marco Polo. Today, there is Lydia Courteille. With one fundamental difference: the first was a merchant who had gone to the East with the aim of bringing spices and fabrics to Venice. The second, on the other hand, brought sensations, images, emotions of India to Paris, in this case through the memory of a 17th-century traveler, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. Ingredients used by Lydia Courteille to create sculptures which, among other things, can also be considered jewels.
The new stage of the French designer’s world tour was India. After touring Guatemala, China, Turkey and many other places, the new collection is dedicated to Gandhi’s homeland and is called Indian Song. Name that adds a touch of musicality to the symphony of colors that make up the collection. India is, in fact, a fascinating mystery for Westerners and, perhaps, also for those born there. Hindu mythology and religion reserve surprises that are not always immediately understandable, but that involve.
The jewels of the Indian Song collection cover some of the stages of Indian culture. Like the Khajuraho temple, built between AD 950 and 1050, which is located in Madhya Pradesh and is famous for the erotic sculptures that surround it. Because spirituality doesn’t have to be far from the joy of the body. The same sculptures, but made of sandalwood, surround a ring with a large red tourmaline, also inspired by the heart of the Indian temple. In an era permeated by a return of Puritanism, Lydia Courteille’s ring is a cry for freedom, cheers.
Another temple, Madurai Gapuram, this time in the state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the god Shiva and the goddess Parvathi: it offered the inspiration for another ring that is reductive to define a jewel. It is, in effect, a small temple, with one side that opens and offers the view of an elaborate interior that features the face of the deity. The whole is made up of cabochon sapphires, rubies and spinels, as well as a carved emerald evoking the splendor of the Mogul era. It should be added that the references to the pantheon of Hinduism are also precise. For example, a red tourmaline snake represents the semi deity Naga, who rules the underworld.
Could the Taj Mahal be missing on the trip to India? Of course not. The monument erected by Shah Jehan, Mughal emperor, in memory of the deceased bride, in the Indian Song collection is transformed into a necklace with sapphires and emeralds. Another monument, the temple dedicated to Shiva Mahabalipuram, a Unesco World Heritage Site located near Chennai, is famous for its bas-relief sculptures that surround it. They represent the descent of the Ganges which is intertwined with the epic of the Mahabharata, which tells the story of the gods.
For example, Sarasvati, Brama’s consort traditionally depicted accompanied by a swan and a peacock. The two birds are used by Lydia Courteille to form an elaborate jewel. Furthermore, the peacock is the decorative protagonist of a palace in Jaipur, the Peacock Gate of the City Palace, and the subject of a gold necklace with 11 tanzanites, ten opals, 11 emeralds, 40 apatite pearls, 60 emerald pearls and tanzanite, 39 yellow sapphires, diamonds. An opulence that would be appreciated by a maharaja. A ring, on the other hand, is dedicated to the temple of Karni Mata, where thousands of mice are considered sacred and are fed by devotees.