From king to maharaja: Cartier watch with a British royal connection sells in Hamburg

Cartier watch and case given by George V to the Maharaja of Kapurthala – €20,000 (£18,180) at Cortrie.

A luxurious watch with a British royal connection went under the hammer last month at Cortrie (20% buyer’s premium) in Hamburg.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Jonathan Franks

It was manufactured in 1911 by Cartier at the behest of George V as a present for the Maharaja of Kapurthala.

This was an important year for both rulers: until 1910 Jagatjit Singh had been raja (king or ruler) of his princely state. Thereafter he was elevated to the rank of maharaja or great ruler.

The British monarch had acceded to the throne in 1910 and in the following year George V and Queen Mary travelled to India, their most important colony, for their Durbar in Delhi.

At this ceremony, which was attended by a quarter of a million people, the ruling princes and members of the nobility paid their obeisance to the Crown.

Incidentally, it was on this occasion that George V announced that the Indian capital would be moved from Calcutta to Delhi.

The royal couple gave many of their loyal princely subjects extravagant presents as a sign of their appreciation.

The gold, platinum and enamel watch offered in Hamburg, which came with its original fitted leather box, bears the arms of the Maharaja of Kapurthala, a crown and a sword set in diamonds, and is registered in the Cartier archives.

At the auction on on March 14, it found a new owner for €20,000 (£18,180).