This exhibit is a journey of five centuries of Indian jewellery history, from the 17th century to the present day, featuring over 300 pieces of jewellery and jewelled objects loaned from over 30 museums, institutions and private collections, across the world. Many of the items have never been exhibited before.
Lenders to the exhibition include the al-Sabah Collection, the British Museum, the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, the Khalili Collection, the Musée Barbier-Mueller, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Jewellery houses such as Cartier, Chaumet, Mauboussin and Van Cleef & Arpels also will present pieces. The 21st century is represented by two of India’s leading jewellery houses – Munnu Kasliwal’s creations for The Gem Palace, and Bhagat.
The exhibition has been conceived by Dr Gagarina and Alex Popov who brought together scholars and enthusiasts from India, UK, Switzerland and the USA for the project. The pieces are arranged is themes of regions and periods, typology and sources of inspiration. One can see the jewellery tradition of South India, temple jewels, jewellery of the Mughal courts combining gold, enamel, gems; gem-set jewels created for the Nizams of Hyderabad; symbiosis between European jewellery houses and India and the cross-cultural influences between Europe and India; a dedicated narrative of the five great gems of Indian jewellery – diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls.
India: Jewels that Enchanted the World tells of the history of Indian jewellery against a background of the colourful fabrics, and the smells and sounds of India’s bazaars.