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"Bejewelled treasures", the Al Thani collection : 4 centuries of Indian treasures and stones

The jewels of the Al Thani Collection

Some 60 jewels from the private collection formed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani are exhibited now at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This beautiful exhibition presents an outstanding selection of jewelries covering some 300 years of Indian traditions from the Mughal period to the present day through the early twentieth century and the beginning of the trade with the West. A symbol of this vast Empire, a historical testimony of the arts and customs of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries Mughal period as well as the from the exchange with Europeans jewelers like Cartier, Mellerio ditMeller , Mauboussin, Harry Winston ...in the early twentieth century. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, spinels, diamonds, pearls and jade, many stones and minerals found in the mines of Sri Lanka and Kashmir, so many beautiful gems that dynasties of Maharajas had set in exceptional ornaments.

India has been a dynamic center in the size of stones and crafts jewelry for many centuries owning gold mines, diamonds, and precious and semi - precious. Mughal sovereigns and their successors enjoyed ceremonial and functional objects and turned them into luxurious objects: daggers, swords, turbans ornaments, necklaces, earrings, vases ....

Historically, the form of stone favored all over India was the cabochon. The spinnelle was a more valuable stone than rubies, in fact a large number of jewelry were made with it. Regarding diamonds, the historic mines of Golcondes offered exceptional stones until they became exhausted in the eighteenth century. Even today, a "Golcondes" diamond is worth more than any other diamond with same caracteristics. Also fine pearls were worn by the maharadjas, the beads were mixed with emeralds and spinels. Those necklaces represented the emblem of royalty. Towards the middle of the seventeenth century, appears enamelling technique, most probably coming from Goa, a Portuguese trading.

Almost all parts of the body had their jewelry: anklets, belts, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, nose rings, hair ornaments ... but the iconic jewel of India, remains "sarpesh" (Turban ornament) that men and women wore.

One can also admire objects, vases, jade daggers and boxes which was of a magical power. Babur (founder of the Mughal dynasty) in Shah Jahan, jade was considered the stone of victory.

Of all the treasures of incredible luxury, now known as the Collection Al Thani, my favorites are a rectangular pink diamond so called "Agra", a peacock brooch by Mellerio dit Meller and a ruby ring so called ​​" Indore "of fascinating color and of such modernity!

A propos de l'auteur

Julie Cailleux Mialet, Designer & Gemmologist, has revisited the Gemstone Universe with her High Standard Collection of Necklace, Rings and Earrings by cleverly mixing Pearls, Rough Rocks, Fine or Precious Gems. By her expertise, professionalism, dynamism but also by her Stonecutters and Brokers contacts through the world; Julie will be able to advise you in regards to Gemstone. Gemmology is her passion which allow her to introduce, to her customers, gems that are not well know on the French Market. Ladies that loves gems and jewels loves her creations. Her Necklaces, Rings or Earrings are suited to all type of fabrics, seasons and moods. Her creations are realised in her Paris’ Studio and respect the norm of ‘La Joaillerie Française’ With large variety of prices, quality product, designer style, personalised advise and a sales point at the Paris’ Village Suisse; Les Pierres de Julie is a must go places to find a jewel or unique piece to offer.