The glorious India and its vibrant culture has captured many a foreigner hearts. Some promise to come back again and some become a part of India forever. One such story is of Bernadette van Gelder- van der Van of Netherlands, who came to India in 1980 and left her heart here among the beautiful Indian culture and jewellery traditions.
With a few connections in India, Bernadette started out her journey and met some great Indian families who connected her to the right people. It was her great belief and foresightedness that Indian jewellery would be very well received in Europe, even though there was no demand at that time.
It was during one of her initial trips to India, that she met the legendary Gyan Dhadda of Jaipur, who greatly helped her in building a network to find some very exotic pieces of jewellery. With just 4 pieces of jewellery, Bernadette did her first exhibition back home and it was a complete sold out. And, the rest is history…
Today, Van Gelder Indian Jewellery is a well-known dealer of finest quality antique Indian jewellery from the late 19th and 20th centuries, exhibiting globally at renowned shows like TEFAF and other private exhibitions. With Bernadette’s daughter Noelle and Fleur at the helm running the show, some ambitious expansion plans are under way and the future looks very exciting!
The process from finding these magnificent pieces to actually delivering them its rightful owner is very detailed and can be only achieved if one is driven by passion. Each of the heirloom pieces are carefully hand picked after repeated trials, tested and reviewed by The Netherlands Gemological Laboratory Leiden, photographed, documented, accompanied by its very own story and wrapped in a beautiful leather box.
Their latest collection ‘Birds of Paradise’ offers exquisite antique jewellery from various parts of India- West Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra to name a few. Each piece is laden with its very own story and literally speaks of so much history. My favourite element of this beautiful assemblage of jewels is the way they have been photographed, bringing out the beauty of each and every piece; making them truly works of art. With Love, From India!