Want to be dazzled by magnificent jewels from the Far East?
Go see From Mughals to Maharajas: Jewels from the Al Thani Collection at The Grand Palais immediately.
The Al Thani Collection is a private collection of exceptional Indian and Indian-inspired gems and jewelry spanning a period of four hundred years, from the Mughal period to the present.
I learned about From Mughals to Maharajas exhibition last year when I attended a lecture at the L'École des Arts Joailliers. The exhibition was in London at the time and I was so impressed with the history and images that I wished I could have seen it. When I learned it was in Paris, needless to say I skedaddled toute de suite to see it.
The collection is over 250 pieces including jewelry- earrings, rings bracelets, collars, necklaces, tiaras, brooches,- vases and objets, it was almost overwhelming to take it all in. It was smartly curated with a chronological timeline with intimate, dimly lit rooms showcasing either one or a few pieces of jewelry in each vitrine.
The Idol’s Eye, the largest cut blue diamond in the world, weighing 70.2 carats and The Agra, an exquisite rare pink diamond with a mysterious past were standouts.
Towards the end of the exhibit is a collection of 20th century and contemporary jewelry. Louis Cartier journeyed to India in 1911to seek out new clients and succeeded in receiving some of his greatest commissions from Indian royalty. This opened up a fruitful exchange between the East and the West with European jewelers supplying jewels to a burgeoning market and Indian rulers sending their stones to be re-set by European gem houses. Today Parisian jeweler JAR is drawing from historic, designing his jewelry with stones from India.
Make sure to order tickets on line. That said, you may still have to wait. I went on a Friday morning and waited over 25 minutes even with my press pass and left because I ran out of time. I ended up going at 6PM on Monday (the exhibit is open till 8PM every night except Tuesday & 10PM on Wednesday), which was perfect, I breezed right through with no line or wait.
From Mughals to Maharajas: Jewels from the Al Thani Collection
Till June 5
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