Al Thani Collection @ The V&A

Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection at the V&A showcased some of the most extravagant jewellery pieces and gemstones that are owned by the Royal Qatari family.

As you may know, we have a keen eye for vintage reproductions. With many of our clients inspired by the elegance of the Art Deco era, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share with you this glittering exhibition, which shows the links between the Indian jewellery trade and western art deco fashion as we know and love today.

The exhibition starts with a large selection of un-mounted gemstones, including the Pink Agra Diamond, which is thought to have belonged to the first Mughal emperor of Babur dating back to the 16th century. This stunning diamond, weighing a huge 34.32cts, made us think of a rather more petite pink diamond we used in an art deco inspired ring.


©The Victoria & Albert Museum, London (photo from V&A website)

Pieces within the collection of the Nizams of Hyderabad show the influence Indian and European jewellery had on each other during the 19th and 20th century. After British rule started in 1858, Indian jewellers were heavily influenced by Western styles and fashions. This impacted on the way jewellery in India was made and how gemstones were cut, as well as European fashion integrating elements of traditional Indian style and design.


Brooch, 1910, Paris; designed by Paul Iribe and made by Robert Linzeler; Colombian emerald carved in India, diamonds, pearls and sapphires set in platinum © The Al Thani Collection (photo from V&A website)

Jewellers such as Cartier started to produce jewellery in Europe which crossed borders in terms of design and the stones that were used. In turn, well educated Indian Princes started to visit European cities, buying jewellery from famous jewellery houses.

Unfortunately the Bejewelled Treasures: Al Thani Collection is now finished, but for an insight into the fabulous exhibition there is a video here on the V&A website.

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