Maharaja of Indore (1908 – 1961) – Indian design & art patron

Furniture pieces from Manik Bagh, designed by Ɖmile-Jacques Ruhlmann in 1932, in an exhibition at the MusĆ©e des Arts DĆ©coratifs, Paris
Furniture pieces from Manik Bagh, designed by Ɖmile-Jacques Ruhlmann in 1932, in an exhibition at the MusĆ©e des Arts DĆ©coratifs, Paris

Maharaja of Indore (Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar Sawai Shri Sir Yeshwant Rao II Holkar XIV Bahadur) (1908 – 1961) was an Indian patron and ruler of Indore (now Madhya Pradesh).

Biography

He was introduced to European art at Oxford and, in 1929, befriended Friedrich Eckart Muthesius, son of Hermann Muthesius, founder of the Deutscher Werkbund. 

Manik Bagh

In 1925, he was invested as the Maharaja of Indore, where he planned a Modern palace known as Manik Bagh (Garden of Rubies). 

1929-33, Muthesius collaborated with Klemens Weigel on the design of the dĆ©cor, which included the private apartment of the Maharaja, banquet hall, ballroom, many guest suites, and music room. Much of the furniture and lighting was designed by Muthesius, with other furniture by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, Le Corbusier and his team, Louis Sognot, Charlotte Alix, and others, with carpets by Bruno Da Silva Bruhns, chandeliers by RenĆ© Lalique, and silver by Jean Puiforcat. Eileen Gray furnished two Transat chairs (one of which sat beside the Maharaja’s metal and mirrored bed by Sagnot) and the dramatic Satellite chandelier. Three ships filled with furniture, steel doors, and marble sailed from Hamburg for Indore. 

In 1970, the Maharaja’s heirs were unsuccessful in commissioning Gray to design more furniture for the pool area. Today, Manik Bagh (its contents sold in 1980) is the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Indore.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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