Exhibitions

Legion of Honor, San Francisco

3 November 2018 - 24 February 2019

East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection

This exhibition explores the cultural and material exchanges between India and Europe through jewelry and precious objects ranging from the seventeenth century to the present. It features more than 150 pieces from The Al Thani Collection, all associated with Mughal emperors, maharajas, and their courts. Highlights include famous gemstones such as the Idol’s Eye (a 70.2-carat diamond and the largest blue diamond in the world), the Arcot II diamond (formerly belonging to the British Crown Jewels) and other treasures such as a jade dagger owned by Emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. The curators of the exhibition are Martin Chapman, Curator in Charge of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of the Al Thani Collection.

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The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

16 October 2018 - 20 January 2019

At the Dawn of Islamic Art: A Dish from The Al Thani Collection

The exhibition is centred around a unique bronze dish from The Al Thani Collection which shows both the pre-Islamic art of Egypt as well as the geometric layout of trays seen in the first centuries of Islam, and which is thought to be among the first works of art produced for a Muslim court. It is shown alongside a selection of closely related bronze objects from the Hermitage collections. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Anton Pritula of the State Hermitage Museum.

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Chateau De Fontainebleau, France

8 September to 8 October 2018

Kings of the World: Expressions of Royal Power and the Arts: Masterpieces From The Al Thani Collection

Featuring approximately 60 objects from the collection, this exhibition used ancient sculpture, works of art, metalwork, coins, miniature paintings, weapons and jewellery to explore the image of the king and that of royal power throughout the ages and civilisations, from Sumerian royalty (around 2000 BC) to 19th-century European monarchies, via Pharaonic Egypt, the ancient Near East, Ottoman sultans and Mughal emperors. The exhibition was curated by Vincent Droguet, General Curator, Director of Heritage and Collections at the Château de Fontainebleau.

The Palace Museum, Beijing

17 April - 18 June 2018

Treasures from The Al Thani Collection: Gems and Jewels of India and Masterpieces from a Royal Collection

This exhibition gave the Chinese public the first-ever opportunity to admire 270 jewels and gems as well as 290 rare and precious objects from The Al Thani Collection. The show of Gems and Jewels of India took visitors on an a spectacular trip through five centuries of remarkably refined artistic taste and perfected technique, represented by historic Indian diamonds and legendary jewels. The exhibition of Masterpieces from a Royal Collection included important works of art dating from antiquity through to the present day, and representing cultures from all around the world; highlights ranged from Greek, Roman, Chinese and Pre-Colombian artefacts to a group of 54 important pieces by Fabergé. The curators of the exhibition were Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection and Wang Yuegong from the Palace Museum.

The Doge’s Palace, Venice

9 September 2017 – 3 January 2018

Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas: The Al Thani Collection

The exhibition presents a rare journey into the world of Indian jewellery, characterised by dazzling gems and jewels dating from the time of the Mughal Empire to the present day.Promoted by Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and presented against a stunning and ethereal backdrop,Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas gives the Italian public the first-ever opportunity to admire 275 pieces assembled from The Al Thani Collection.

The Grand Palais Paris

29 March – 5 June 2017

From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from The Al Thani Collection

The Grand Palais exhibition enabled visitors to immerse themselves in the jewellery traditions of the Indian subcontinent, from the Mughal period to the modern day, all displayed in an evocative and ethereal setting. The evolution of gem-setting and jewellery was shown through 250 exceptional pieces from The Al Thani Collection, together with major works on loan from prestigious institutions and private collections. Famous historic Indian diamonds, spectacular precious objects and legendary pieces of jewellery were brought together to represent the evolution of taste and technique in India’s jewelled arts over five centuries.

The Miho Museum Koka, Japan

1 October - 11 December 2016

Jewels of the Mughal Emperors and Maharajas: Treasures from The Al Thani Collection

The exhibition featured more than 175 pieces including the world’s largest cut blue diamond, the Idol’s Eye, and other select Indian jewels from The Al Thani Collection. It explored the history and design of Indian gems from the 16th to 21st century. In addition to masterpieces exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2014-15) and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2015-16), some Indian treasures from the Collection were shown in Japan for the first time.

The Victoria And Albert Museum London

21 November 2015 - 10 April 2016

Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection

This exhibition showcased over one hundred jewels, jewelled artefacts and jades from The Al Thani Collection, alongside three prestigious loans from the Royal Collection. The pieces ranged in date from the early 17th century to the present day, and were made in the Indian subcontinent or inspired by India. They included spectacular precious stones and jades made for Mughal emperors, highlighting the exceptional skills of goldsmiths within the Indian subcontinent. The more recent pieces also demonstrated that cross-cultural exchanges continue to inspire contemporary jewellery design in India and Europe.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

28 October 2014 - 25 January 2015

Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al Thani Collection

Some sixty jewelled objects from the private collection formed by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani provided a glimpse into the evolving styles of the jewelled arts in India from the Mughal period until the early 20th century, with emphasis on later exchanges with the West. The exhibition was shown within the Metropolitan Museum’s Islamic art galleries, adjacent to the Museum’s own collection of Mughal-period art.

Publications