top of page
  • Writer's pictureVingt Sept

"Beyond Extravagance: A Royal Collection Of Gems and Jewels, 2nd Edition"

Art & Culture News

Awakening a new understanding of the diverse tradition of Indian jewelry spanning four hundred years, the first edition of Beyond Extravagance in 2013 revealed for the first time the most important royal Indian jewels from the exceptional Al Thani Collection.

Exploring the centuries-long tradition of fine jewelry and art objects in India, from the Mughal Empire to the British Raj, to contemporary interpretations that continue to evolve today, this spectacular volume has been expanded and updated and serves as an important record, highlighting over 400 extraordinary objects. Key pieces include the carved jade

wine cup of Emperor Jahangir, the Shah Jahan Dagger; inscribed imperial spinels belonging to emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan; the Idol’s Eye diamond, the Tiger’s Eye turban ornament; and the Nawanagar necklace, designed by Cartier for Maharaja Digvijaysinhji of Nawanagar in 1937 using an exceptional group of oval and cushion-cut Burmese rubies.


Presenting a journey through the history of Indian jeweled objects, this splendid new edition features updated chapters by renowned jewelry experts including Vivienne Becker (The Impossible Collection of Jewelry); Katherine

Prior (Maharajahs’ Jewels); Michael Spink, a specialist in Islamic and Indian art who lectures at the University of London; and Robert Skelton, one of the foremost authorities on Indian painting and fine objects. Edited by Amin Jaffer,

Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection, each section includes a detailed catalogue raisonné of featured pieces. Dr Amin Jaffer is Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection, an encyclopedic holding of more than 6,000 works of art spanning from the ancient world to the present day. Previously Senior Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London,

and International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s, Jaffer has authored Furniture from British India and Ceylon (V&A, 2001), Luxury Goods from India (V&A, 2002) and Made for Maharajas: A Design Diary of Princely India (2006). Jaffer was co-curator of the V&A’s blockbuster 2004 exhibition Encounters: The Meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500–1800 and

Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts (2009) and co-editor of the associated books. He co-curated the exhibition From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from The Al Thani Collection at the Grand Palais, Paris (2017), and curated the exhibition Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas: The Al Thani Collection at the Doge’s Palace, Venice (2017). In 2018 he curated a double exhibition at the Palace Museum, Beijing, Treasures from The Al Thani Collection, and edited the associated catalogues.

Working with Martin Chapman, he co-curated East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection at the Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco (2018-19). He is currently working on exhibitions at the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, and Hôtel de la Marine, Paris, where The Al Thani Collection Foundation will open a museum space in 2020, providing for the long-term display of works drawn from across the entire Collection.

"Beyond Extravagance: A Royal Collection Of Gems and Jewels, 2nd Edition" will be released on November 2019

Price £350

Available at


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page