Examining jewellery in detail

V&A Metal Conservator and Gemmologist, Joanna Whalley, and jewellery specialist, Geoffrey Munn, explore three key pieces from the Al Thani collection – a spectacular private collection of jewels made in the Indian subcontinent, or inspired by India.

The Al Thani collection ranges in date from the early 17th century to the present day, including spectacular precious stones and jades made for Mughal emperors. Famous jewels from leading European houses such as Cartier reveal the more significant impact of India on Art Deco jewellery in the early 20th century.

Crescent emerald jewel
This crescent shaped jewel was once worn on the brow of an elephant. Listen to the story of the design, the gems and its previous Maharani owner, Anita Delgado.

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1920s Cartier brooch
Joanna Whalley and Geoffrey Munn give their expert opinion on this stunning 1920s Cartier brooch with an enormous emerald centrepiece of just under 40 carats.

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Peacock feather emerald brooch
This large Colombian emerald was carved in India and set in a peacock feather design with sapphires and natural pearls. Joanna and Geoffrey examine how the piece was constructed to be worn in a variety of ways.

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Background image: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London