“From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from the Al Thani” collection at Grand Palais in Paris, France

Filled with stunning jewels and ornaments that were once owned by royalty, the collection can be seen in Paris until June

Apr 11, 2017 | By Vimi Haridasan

Royal collections are always fascinating. Filled with history and crafted by those who have helped shape the world of fine jewellery as we know it today, it is difficult to tear your eyes away from those fine creations. Paris is currently hosting one such collection that showcases the jewels owned by the rulers of India.

Held at the Grand Palais in Paris, the exhibition called “From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from the Al Thani collection” will run until June 5. Joining these exceptional creations, are other major works that are on loan from reputable institutions and private collections. Organised by Réunion des Musées Nationaux and in collaboration with the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques it is a chance to learn more about the developments in Indian jewellery traditions over the years.

With creations that date as far back as five centuries the 250 items on display are on loan from the Qatari royal family and have already been on display in New York and London. From turban ornaments to cut diamonds, this truly is a treasure trove of royal jewels from the bygone era. Some of the items that have caught our attention include the “Tiger Eye Turban Ornament” from Cartier that was crafted in 1937. Commissioned by the Maharaja Digvijaysinhji of Nawanagar, it features an unusual 61.50 carat cognac-coloured diamond that is surrounded by baguette cut diamonds.

Other noteworthy pieces include “The Idol’s Eye” that holds the title of being the largest cut blue diamond in the world since the mid 19th century. The 70.2 carat diamond holds an interesting backstory, where it may or may not have been taken from a statue of a Hindu deity in a temple in India. Proving that the use of gems was not limited to jewellery alone, the exhibition also features a Rosewater Bottle from North India that boasts gold, rubies, emeralds and pearls. Dating back to the late 17th century it was used to show hospitality to guests at the end of meals.

The “From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from the Al Thani collection” exhibition is now on till June 5 at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Back to top