MU­SEUM TOUR...

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art The is cur­rently hold­ing a re­mark­able show that ex­hibits rare jewelled trea­sures from In­dia. The ex­hi­bi­tion opened on Oc­to­ber 28, 2014 and will run up to Jan­uary New York, 25, 2015 in and aims to trace the var­i­ous In­dian jewelle

Adorn - - CONTENTS -

In­dian Jewelled Arts on Show

s ome 60 jewelled ob­jects from the pri­vate col­lec­tion of Sheikh Ha­mad bin Ab­dul­lah Al-Thani are on dis­play in the ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled Trea­sures from In­dia: Jew­els from the Al-Thani Col­lec­tion that was opened on Oc­to­ber 28.

The pre­sen­ta­tion pro­vides 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 is be­ing held within The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum’s Is­lamic art gal­leries, ad­ja­cent to the Mu­seum’s own col­lec­tion of Mughal-pe­riod art.

“It is with great de­light that we present to the pub­lic this se­lec­tion of works rep­re­sent­ing sev­eral cen­turies of tra­di­tion and crafts­man­ship in the jewelled arts—from In­dia’s Mughal work­shops to the ate­liers of Paris,” Thomas P. Camp­bell , di­rec­tor and CEO of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum, said when an­nounc­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“It is with great de­light that we present to the pub­lic this se­lec­tion of works rep­re­sent­ing sev­eral cen­turies of tra­di­tion and crafts­man­ship in the jewelled arts—from In­dia’s Mughal work­shops to the ate­liers of Paris.”

Sheikh Ha­mad stated, “The jewelled arts of In­dia have fas­ci­nated me from an early age and I have been for­tu­nate to be able to as­sem­ble a mean­ing­ful col­lec­tion that spans from the Mughal pe­riod to the present day. I am de­lighted that The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art will be ex­hibit­ing high­lights from the col­lec­tion, mak­ing the sub­ject known to a wider au­di­ence.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion, which has been made pos­si­ble by Cartier, dis­plays his­tor­i­cal works from the Mughal pe­riod in the 17th cen­tury and from var­i­ous courts and cen­tres of the 18th and 19th cen­turies, in­clud­ing Hy­der­abad; a group of late 19th- and 20th­cen­tury jew­els made for In­dia’s ma­hara­jas by Cartier and other Western firms; and con­tem­po­rary com­mis­sions in­spired by tra­di­tional In­dian forms. On view are sev­eral an­tique gems that were in­cor­po­rated into mod­ern set­tings by mai­son Cartier, jew­ellery de­signer Paul Iribe, and oth­ers. Con­tex­tual in­for­ma­tion is pro­vided through his­tor­i­cal photographs and por­traits of In­dian roy­alty wear­ing works sim­i­lar to those on view.

In­dia has been a vi­brant cen­tre for the jewelled arts for many cen­turies, with its own mines yield­ing gold, di­a­monds, and many other pre­cious and semi-pre­cious stones. In­dia’s Mughal rulers and their suc­ces­sors ap­pre­ci­ated cer­e­mo­nial and func­tional ob­jects made of lux­ury ma­te­ri­als. Among the Mughal works will be an el­e­gant jade dag­ger orig­i­nally owned by two em­per­ors—the hilt was made for Ja­hangir and it was re-bladed for his son Shah Ja­han, builder of the Taj Ma­hal. In the 19th cen­tury, the dag­ger was in the col­lec­tion of Sa­muel F. B. Morse, in­ven­tor of the Morse code. The hilt fea­tures a minia­ture sculp­ture—a Euro­pean-style head.

His­tor­i­cally, the gem form favoured through­out In­dia has been the cabo­chon. In the tra­di­tional kun­dan tech­nique, a gem is set within a bed of gold, and of­ten backed in foil to en­hance its colour. Another high­light of the ex­hi­bi­tion is a gem-set, tiger head finial orig­i­nally from the throne of Tipu Sul­tan (1750–1799), which in­cor­po­rated nu­mer­ous cabo­chon di­a­monds, ru­bies, and emer­alds in a kun­dan set­ting.

Also on view are sev­eral ex­am­ples of North In­dian sarpech and jigha (tur­ban or­na­ments) from 1875-1900, brought to­gether in a dis­play that traces their evo­lu­tion from tra­di­tional plume-in­spired forms and tech­niques to­wards more Western shapes and con­struc­tion. Sil­ver foil back­ing was used; how­ever, the di­a­monds were set us­ing a Western-style claw or coro­net, rather than the kun­dan set­ting.

And a work de­signed by the artist Paul Iribe and made by gold­smith Robert Linzeler in 1910 in Paris re­calls the kind of ai­grette (dec­o­ra­tive

pin) that would have or­na­mented the tur­ban of a Ma­haraja or Nizam. At the cen­tre is a large emer­ald, carved in In­dia be­tween 1850 and 1900.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is or­gan­ised by Nav­ina Haidar, cu­ra­tor, Is­lamic Art Depart­ment. The ex­hi­bi­tion de­sign is by Michael Batista, ex­hi­bi­tion de­sign man­ager; graph­ics are by Sophia Geron­imus, graphic de­sign man­ager; and the light­ing is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, graphic de­sign man­agers, all of the Mu­seum’s De­sign Depart­ment.

Re­lated ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes in­clude two ‘Fri­day Fo­cus’ lec­tures, “At­tributes of Splen­dor: The Role of Jew­els in Pro­ject­ing Power in Royal In­dia” with Amin Jaf­fer and “Jew­elry and Power: Gold and Gems in Mughal In­dia” with Michael Spink; a Stu­dio Work­shop on jew­ellery con­struc­tion, in­volv­ing wire loop­ing and crimp­ing, and string­ing beads with silks and threads; a ‘Pic­ture This!’ pro­gramme for vis­i­tors who are blind or par­tially sighted; and an ‘Art Ex­plore’ teen pro­gramme. There will also be two ex­hi­bi­tion tours (De­cem­ber 5 and Jan­uary 12).

The ex­hi­bi­tion will be ac­com­pa­nied by a cat­a­logue pub­lished by the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum and dis­trib­uted by Yale Univer­sity Press ($40, hard­cover). Writ­ten by Nav­ina Haidar, with a fore­word by Sheila Canby, the Patti Cadby Birch cu­ra­tor in charge of the depart­ment of Is­lamic Art, and con­tri­bu­tions from Court­ney Ste­wart, se­nior re­search as­sis­tant, it draws on a study of the col­lec­tion called ‘Beyond Ex­trav­a­gance’, edited by Amin Jaf­fer, that was printed by As­souline Pub­lish­ing in 2013.

Finial from the Throne of Tipu Sul­tan

 South In­dia, Mysore, ca. 1790 Gold, in­laid with di­a­monds, ru­bies, and emer­alds; lac core H. 2-3/4 in. (6.8 cm), W. 2-1/8 in. (5.4 cm), D 2-1/4 in. (5.5 cm) The Al-Thani Col­lec­tion Photo: © Servette Over­seas Limited 2013. All rights re­served.

Seal Ring with Hid­den Key South In­dia, Hy­der­abad, 1884-85 Gold, set with spinel H. 1 1/8 in. (2.7 cm), W. 1 1/8 in. (2.8 cm), W (with key ex­tended) 2 1/8 in. (5.3 cm) The Al-Thani Col­lec­tion Photo: © Servette Over­seas Limited 2013. All rights re­served.

Belt Brooch France, Paris, made by Cartier, ca. 1920-30 Plat­inum, set with emer­alds, sap­phires, and di­a­monds H. 1-3/4 in. (4.2 cm), W. 3-3/8 in. (8.5 cm) The Al-Thani Col­lec­tion Photo: © Servette Over­seas Limited 2013. All rights re­served.

Ai­grette France, Paris, de­signed by Paul Iribe, made by Robert Linzeler, 1910 Plat­inum, set with emer­ald, sap­phires, di­a­monds, and pearls H. 3-5/8 in. (9 cm), W. 2-1/4 in. (5.6 cm), D. 5/8 in. (1.5 cm) The Al-Thani Col­lec­tion Photo: © Servette Over­seas Limited 2013. All rights re­served.

Punch Dag­ger (katar) North In­dia, Mughal, ca. 1680-1720 Wa­tered steel blade; gold hilt, in­laid with ru­bies, emer­alds, and di­a­monds L. ap­prox. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm) The Al-Thani Col­lec­tion Photo: © Servette Over­seas Limited 2013. All rights re­served.

Dag­ger (kard) with Euro­pean Head

 Photo: © Servette Over­seas Limited 2013. All rights re­served. North In­dia, Mughal, ca. 1620–25 (hilt), 1629–36 (blade) Wa­tered steel blade, in­laid with gold; jade hilt L. (over­all) 11-3/4 in. (29.7 cm), L. (jade hilt) 4-3/8 in. (11.1 cm) In­scribed: sahib-i qi­ran sani 2 (Sec­ond Lord of the Con­junc­tion, reg­nal year 2, or pos­si­bly 9) The Al-Thani Col­lec­tion

Tur­ban Or­na­ment (Sarpech) South In­dia, Hy­der­abad, 1800-50 Gold, set with di­a­monds and sus­pended spinel beads of ear­lier date. Enamel on re­verse. H: 18.5 cm, W: 27.2 cm The Al-Thani Col­lec­tion Photo: © Servette Over­seas Limited 2013. All rights re­served.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.