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Al Thani Jewelry Collection Owned by Qatari Royal Unveiled at Victoria and Albert Museum

India’s history with fine jewelry is currently being brought to light via one of the most dazzling private collections, acquired by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani. A member of the Qatari royal family and CEO of Qipco Holding, Al Thani was inspired to start his own collection of Indian imperial jewels in 2009 after visiting an exhibition, Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. He has since set his mind on acquiring one of the most spectacular collections of Indian jewels that the world has ever seen.

The treasures that he has collected over the years are currently on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum under the Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection exhibition, which is being held as part of the museum’s India Festival. The exhibit traces the evolution of India’s jewelry aesthetic, dating back to the Mughal period, up until the 20th century.

The Al Thani jewelry collection includes a turban ornament set with diamonds and adorned with feather plumes; a ceremonial sword with a jewel-encrusted handle inlaid with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds; and a striking gold and diamond hair ornament. Also on display are the remarkable pieces commissioned by French jewelry house Cartier for India’s royal court, which include an art deco brooch inlaid with sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds; and a ruby beaded choker necklace featuring diamonds and pearls.

Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection will run until March 28th, 2016 at the V&A Museum.

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