Some came to bid, some just to catch a glimpse. The auction of eight pieces of jewellery belonging to Anita Delgado's jewels, fifth wife of Maharaja Sir Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, drew hordes to Christie's, London, on Wednesday.
The collection sold for £627,500, way, way above the expected £200,000.
An excited young bidder told
: "The exquisite jewels, the finest specimen of European art and symbols of a fairytale romance between a prince and a commoner, brought me here."
"The collection typifies the Art Deco style at its most dramatic — with strong, angular designs on a large scale," said David Warren, director of jewellery at Christie's, London.
Dr Amin Jaffer, international director of Asian art, Christie's, added: "These jewels are a symbol of cross-cultural love and taste, bringing together Indian princely patronage with the finest European craftsmanship and design."
The Maharaja's infatuation with Delgado, a flamenco dancer and singer, her initial rejection of his advances and his winning her over are the stuff Bollywood films are made of.
However, the fairytale romance between the prince and the commoner notwithstanding, the Maharaja's roving eye and her affair with a stepson led to the marriage falling apart. They separated and Anita stayed in Paris with her son. She died in July, 1962, in Madrid.
Javier Moro's bestselling book,
, is based on Delgado's life.