Dear Shaded Viewers,
I was out of town for the opening of JOYAUX at the Grand Palais but today…I finally went and I am still walking on a cloud drenched in the beauty of the private collection of Al Thani. The House of Thani is the ruling family of Qatar and the collection on exhibit at the Grand Palais includes more than 270 extraordinary pieces from their collection. The jewels tell the story from the Mughal treasury: dynastic gems and jewels. Expect to see fine diamonds from Deccan, sapphires from Kashmir, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), pearls from the Persian Gulf, emeralds from India and gold these precious materials were transformed through the ingenuity of Indian craftsmen. Jewellery in India is not merely for adornment; every gem has a significance, reflecting a cosmic purpose or invoking a favourable horoscope.
The creation of this collection by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani has been driven by his passion for the taste and style of Indian jewels across various historical periods. Along with the pieces from the Al Thani private collection are loans of celebrated jewelled objects from the Biblotheque Nationale of France, British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, State Hermitage Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum as well as prestigious private collections. These jewels tell the story of the jewelled arts of India from the age of the Mughal emperors (1526-1858) through to the British Raj (1858-1947) and the present day.
Along with the Mughal treasury: dynastic gems and jewels you will find objects of jade and rock crystal, objects in gold and enamel and jewelled ornaments. Jacques Cartier travelled to India in 1911 looking for new clients and precious stones. Cartier and other leading French and British jewellers engaged with India on various levels. They started to supply maharajas with stock products and customised creations. While in India, European jewellers also collected indigenous pieces, which they sometimes re-mounted or re-set to complement the exotic style favored during the period. Parisian jeweller JAR has incorporated historic Indian stones into his work in his contemporary creations which are also on exhibit. Mumbai-based jeweller Bhagat’s work is characterized by the use of custom-cut flat diamonds and natural pearls in invisible platinum settings that echo traditional jewellery forms. Cartier’s jewelled dialogue continues to evolve with India with creations that recall the commissions of the maharajas. I highly recommend you visit JOYAUX at the Grand Palais anytime you want to drench yourself in pure and utter beauty…you know where you have to go.
Grand Palais till June 5th