A rare masterpiece of Mughal art – a gold and silver wine flask, studded with jade, rubies and emeralds – is one of the highlights of a breathtaking new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum reports Sandra Westbrooke Made between 1600 and 1625, it was later presented to Robert Clive, who established British rule in India in 1757. Right:Gem studded wine flask.
The flask was bought at auction in 2003 for almost £3 million by Sheikh Saud al-Thani for the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, and is one of many treasures which have been lent from all over the world for the show. Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts covers the period from the 17th century to 1947. Other objects displayed include three thrones, a silver gilt howdah, gem-encrusted weapons, court paintings, a Rolls Royce, turban jewels and jewellery commissioned from Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. (Don’t miss the Patiala necklace with its 2,930 gems, including a 234.69 ct yellow diamond..) The exhibition runs until January 17, and will then transfer to Munich.