Stunning Indian Jewelry Exhibit Now At Legion Of Honor

Previous PostLocal Makeup Brand PYT Is Your New Clean Beauty Obsession
Next PostBridging Ethical Manufacturing To Luxury Performance With Koio
The entrance to the new exhibit
The entrance to the new exhibit

Photo Credit: Gary Sexton

Late last week patrons of the Legion of Honor and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s (FAMSF) new director Thomas P. Campbell gathered to view the museum’s exciting exhibit, East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection. The exhibition features over 150 precious Indian objects, collected by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani.

Thomas P. Campbell, Phoebe Campbell, Yurie Pascarella, Carl Pascarella at the donor reception
Thomas P. Campbell, Phoebe Campbell, Yurie Pascarella, Carl Pascarella at the donor reception

Photo Credit: Gary Sexton

It’s a stunning mixture of old and new with items—necklaces, brooches, bracelets, and pieces worn on ceremonial occasions like daggers—dating back to the 1600s when the Mughals ruled India.  In the early 20th century, European houses like Cartier were inspired by the opulent style of Indian jewelers and copied it—these pieces are a part of the collection.

Patiala ruby choker, Cartier, Paris, 1931, restored and restrung by Cartier Tradition, Geneva, 2012
Patiala ruby choker, Cartier, Paris, 1931

Photo Credit: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Gold, almost-neon green emeralds, and vibrant reddish pink rubies are prevalent throughout the pieces. The show includes famous gemstones like the Arcot II diamond and the pink Agra diamond. East Meets West was organized by Martin Chapman the curator in charge of European decorative arts and sculpture at FAMSF with Amin Jaffer, the senior curator of the Al Thani Collection.

The reception
The reception

Photo Credit: Gary Sexton

What distinguishes Indian jewels from other ancient collections is that most of them were worn by men and not women. “The spectacular jewelry worn by the rulers of India is a captivating look into the expectations of both high culture and society across a large swath of history,” Martin said. “Audiences will find this aspect of the exhibit relevant to how we perceive gender today, where equality, fluidity, and choice are important topics of conversation.”

Aigrette, Mellerio dits Meller, Paris, 1905
Aigrette, Mellerio dits Meller, Paris, 1905

Photo Credit: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Security at the Legion of Honor has been increased due to the worth of the jewels. The last time the Al Thani Collection was on exhibit at Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy a pair of earrings and a brooch were snatched in broad daylight by a team of robbers.

East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection
East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection

Photo Credit: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

At the opening party, patrons like Dede Wilsey and Navid Armstrong enjoyed a delicious spread of Indian food and cocktails before viewing the beautiful jewelry. East Meets West is at the Legion of Honor from now until February 24, 2019.

connect with haute living San Francisco
Loader