Crisp winter mornings are what I live for. While everyone despairs about the bitter cold, I can’t help but admire the splash of colour stained across the sky first thing in the morning. It was the perfect way to start my Saturday ahead of the Bejewelled Treasures exhibition in South Kensington.
The V&A is slowly becoming a favourite place of mine where you can lose yourself and forget about the outside world for a few hours. The Al-Thani collection on display until 28 March 2016 takes us through 400 years of stunning Indian jewellery. From intricate turban jewels, to precious stones which adorned items that were made for Mughal emperors, the collection was full of intricate craftsmanship which reflected Indian heritage throughout the years.
It was interesting to see the evolution of Indian jewellery from the early 17th century to the present day where some famous jewels from leading European houses such as Cartier reveal a more significant impact of India on Art Deco jewellery. I found myself enchanted with items from the earlier years where there seemed to be more in the way of detail, exuberance and a flamboyant feel. After all, these jewels were made for royalty.
As we travelled through the years, the tone completely changed within the 20th century. These jewels were far more understated and simplistic. Completely different from earlier designs, these items illustrated the ‘cross-cultural exchanges’ that continue to ‘inspire contemporary jewellery design in India and Europe.’
I fell in love with so many show stoppers on display but the ones that really held my attention were the earlier jewels filled with detail, colours and a vibrant history. So much of today’s contemporary style revolves around being minimal, so it was refreshing to cast an eye back throughout history and really marvel at how extraordinary these goldsmiths were, especially without the technology we now have access to.
If you’re a big jewellery fan then this is definitely an exhibition you’ll appreciate.
The Bejewelled Treasures exhibition is still running at the V&A until 28 March 2016, so be sure to head on down there and check out the collection for yourself.