The Royal Shakmageya is a new feature for 2014. Shakmageya is derived from the Turkish word “çekmece” which means a safe box or place. In Egypt, A shakmageya is a wooden box carved in different motifs and typically inlaid with mother of pearl, copper and sometimes gold. This what you would use to keep your jewelry in and the very important of items. Women of all classes would have had a shakmageya in the past. Naturally, the size of the box and how exquisite the adornments on it are a sign of how much possessions a person treasures.

So we’ll discuss the jewellery of the Egyptian Royal Family in this feature.

In May 2014 in Geneva, Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” took place with some very important jewelry including the Sunburst tiara of Prince Leopold of Bavaria. In this sale was a diamond and ruby necklace that had once belonged to Queen Nazli.

The necklace was made in 1935 and was described on Sotheby’s as:

Designed as a graduated series of scroll motifs set with circular-cut and baguette diamonds, highlighted with cabochon rubies, length approximately 400mm, detachable links, may be shortened to approximately 365mm, French assay marks, one small diamond deficient.

The necklace was estimated at 50,234 – 81,630$ but ended up fetching 117,735$ to a private buyer.

The jeweller of this magnificent necklace was listed as unknown though it was suggested to be Cartier. The design looks very Egyptian to me with these scrolls resembling rolled papyrus. Overall it reminds me of a few other pieces in the collection of the Egyptian royal family.

Unfortunately, there are no photos available of Queen Nazli wearing this necklace as
many of the occasions, parties and galas that had the Egyptian royals
wearing their grand jewels were private affairs with almost no photos, also keeping in mind that she probably bought it in 1935 while King Fouad was still alive which kept her behind doors (he was very protective and she was a bit too flamboyant)!
But if you happen to have come across any picture with the Queen wearing
it please feel free to share!

Stay tuned for another magnificent piece next week!