A selection of jewels designed and worn by Shakira Caine, wife of the Hollywood icon Sir Michael Caine, will be offered at Bonhams’ Sir Michael Caine: The Personal Collection sale on Wednesday 2 March in London. Estimates range from £400 – 800.
Shakira was inspired to make jewellery after visiting ‘The Costumes of Royal India’, exhibition, curated by the late Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, which ran from 20 December 1985 to 31 August 1986.
Speaking at the time, Shakira, said: “Being Indian, I was inspired by all of the Mogul jewellery. Indian jewellery will always live on. It’s alive, vibrant, and always worn with pride. It gives you a spark, a lift. I love the vivid colours, the craftsmanship, the individuality, and the subtlety of stones… I’ve always been interested in fashion and accessories, and I was lucky. I happened to get interested in jewellery when an ethnic tendency was reawakening in fashion”.
Many of the pieces on display at the exhibition were reproductions of old jewels, made in Bombay especially for the show. Shakira decided to have copies made for herself. She later discovered that the person who supervised the reproductions was Sunita Pitamber, an old friend, and they decided to go into business together.
Shakira designed pieces which were inspired by the ancient jewellery making techniques of India and evocative of a fascinating time in India’s history. She took a dozen samples of her jewellery to Harrods in London, where the Caines had recently moved from Los Angeles. The meeting was successful and led to an extensive line of accessories. During the late 1980s and 1990s, Shakira’s jewellery was retailed at Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London, Bergdorf Goodman in New York, and Neiman-Marcus in Beverly Hills, together with her gold-embroidered shawls, bags, and belts, all made in India and Paris. Her jewellery line was quite extensive, consisting of 30 necklaces, 40 pairs of earrings and 20 bracelets.
Charlie Thomas, Head of Sale, said: “The bracelet and necklaces offered in this sale are from Shakira Caine’s personal collection, and they clearly reflect her taste and individual style during a very creative period in her life as a designer.”