Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Bracelet at Auction Hints to Romance between Lady Iris Mountbatten and the Last Maharaja of Bundi

Gardener Galleries, an auction house in London, Ontario, currently has on offer a bracelet given to Lady Iris Mountbatten by His Highness Bahadur Singh, Maharaja of Bundi. The bracelet is made of silver and adorned with turquoises, garnets, and pearls. In addition to this jewellery, there are two letters from the Maharaja to Lady Iris, both written in 1950.

Maharao Bahadur Singh of Bundi entertaining a guest in the 1950s.

This is the description of the lot: Exquisite handcrafted antique solid silver hinged bangle bracelet designed in Mughal style of a double elephant head set with turquoise, pearl and garnets - gift to Lady Iris Mountbatten (moved to Toronto in 1960's) from the Maharaja of Bundi Rajputan (Col. HH Maharao Raja Shri Bahadur Singhji Bahadur) - in Birks box with her calling card, portrait photo and also accompanied by letters (some a little salacious) from the Maharaja to her.

Following is an extract from one of the letters:

My very own Fatty,

Darling I wanted to write to you so badly for all these months, but as I didn't know your address in the States I couldn't. At last one day I was so worried & upset about you that I couldn't sleep the whole night...

Both letters from the Maharaja are written on his personal stationary, and they bear the arms of the Princely family of Bundi.

Lady Iris Mountbatten at Kensington Palace.

A great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Lady Iris Mountbatten (1920-1982) was the only child of the Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke.

To see the bracelet, you can visit the website of Gardener Galleries.

To learn more about the last Maharaja of Bundi's service during World War II, you can read this article: Military Digest - The Prince who was a War Hero

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