Surprisingly Simple Sarees on Patiala’s Maharanis

This is the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala with several of his “women” (as one site put it), posed around him.  The royal ladies wear simple, pale or delicate-looking sarees, and scalloped edges were apparently popular at the time.  I learned that four of his wives were sisters, northern princesses; also that he had ten official consorts whom he married and numerous concubines, and perhaps 88 children.  He died rather young, at age 46 in 1938, so this image is some years earlier.  The same discussion site suggested that his favorite Maharani must be the one wearing the amazing necklace produced by Cartier.

This is obviously the sort of thing to wear with a very plain saree, since one wouldn’t want to have all these rubies, pearls and diamonds fighting with bright colors for attention.  And believe it or not, the Patialas had an even more famous necklace that is mostly huge diamonds.  But I’m not posting a picture of it because all the good photographs show it on men, and they are not wearing sarees, vintage or otherwise.

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