Emperors & Jewels: Treasures of the Indian Courts from The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait
Aug 18, 2018 - Jan 27, 2019

Experience the passion for opulence among the princes of India. Exquisite objects decorated with gems and carved from semi-precious stone reflect life at the courts.


Discover the deep roots of contemporary fashion’s love affair with men’s jewellery and adornments in this display of exquisitely crafted jewelled artworks from Mughal India. Decorated with gems such as diamonds and carved from semi-precious stone like jade, the objects in this exhibition are drawn from Kuwait’s al-Sabah Collection, one of the foremost collections of Islamic arts in the world.


Whether they are gem-studded rings and cups, intricately carved dagger hilts and trays, or any of the many other glittering artworks on display, all the objects in this exhibition reflect the opulence of life at the courts of the Mughals and their contemporaries. As great patrons of the jewelled arts, which blended Central Asian, Persian, and Indian traditions, the Mughals contributed to a flowering of creativity and craftsmanship in India from the 16th to 19th centuries.


Paintings from the Aga Khan Museum’s Collection, showing receptions and gardens, hunts and battles are displayed both as original miniatures and as spectacular enlargements, setting the scene for the jewelled artworks and revealing how passionate Mughal princes were about art and beauty, adorning themselves “with all splendour and magnificence,” both to feast and to fight.

Dr. Filiz Çakır Phillip, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto
Salam Kaoukji, The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait

About The al-Sabah Collection

The objects displayed in this exhibition come from the collection of the Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah of Kuwait. Formed between the mid 1970s and the present day, The al-Sabah Collection is one of the most comprehensive and distinguished collections of Islamic art in the world. It has been on long-term loan to the State of Kuwait, where it went on view as Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah in 1983, occupying one of the buildings of the National Museum complex in Kuwait City. The al-Sabah Collection aims to provide a window on the history of the Islamic cultures, which spans many centuries and vast areas of land, and on the Islamic world’s artistic and scientific achievements, which are among its greatest legacies.



In the News


Apollo Magazine, August 16, 2018
Emperors & Jewels: Treasures of the Indian Courts


Skylife Business, August 2018
A Celebration of Jewels


Vestnik.ca (Russian), September 2018
Emperors & Jewels (video)


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