Mughal splendour showcased at Singapore Museum

Mughal splendour showcased at Singapore Museum

Mughal splendour showcased at Singapore Museum

"Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals," exhibits objects used by the Mughal emperors and his court including household items, jewellery and weapons.

Loaned from Kuwait's National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, the exhibition currently being hosted by Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore will go on for the next four months and end on June 27, 2010.

"It is a stunning showcase of the techniques and finesse of Indian jewelled arts, and it also gives insight into an important period in the history of the world. The Mughals, known for monuments such as Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, were also one of the world's richest and most powerful empires," Nicola Kuok, assistant curator, ACM told PTI.
A majestic 600 year old balas ruby inscribed with the names of its six imperial owners, a gold turban ornament set with emeralds and diamonds, and a dagger and scabbard encrusted with over 2,000 gemstones are among the exhibits.

"The Mughal period is full of legend and history. It is rich with anecdotes about these great emperors and their luxurious lifestyle. Through texts, we introduce visitors to what life was like in the Mughal courts – the food they ate, their private pursuits and even what life was like for those who served in the palace," says Kuok.

Ranging from serving dishes, spoons, necklaces, turban ornaments, dagger and scabbard sets and even a back scratcher!, nearly every exhibit is encrusted with rubies, diamonds and emeralds and set in gold using the typical kundan technique.
"Much of what we know about the Mughal courts and the significance of these artefacts is largely thanks to the royal memoirs of the Mughal emperors, the round-the-clock records by their scribes, the travel accounts and letters of foreign diplomats and the miniature paintings depicting court life in lavish detail," says Kuok.
"We have even peppered our gallery with quotations on the great Mughals and their court, taken from the emperor’s memoirs and from the accounts of foreign emissaries." she adds.

Previously shown at the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum as part of a 2001-2002 tour and at the Louvre in Paris in 2006, it will next travel to Kuala Lumpur later this year.
The exhibits for the current show has been sourced from the private collection assembled by Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, with his wife-the son and daughter-in-law of the Amir of Kuwait, since mid-1970s.

Their collection on a long-term loan to Kuwait since 1983, embraces over 30,000 art objects covering the region from Spain to China, from 7th to l9th century AD.
"Visitors have received the exhibition with enthusiasm, and we had over 5000 visitors in its first week alone! It is heartening to see the exquisite craftsmanship and beauty of these jewelled treasures getting all this attention from our visitors," says the curator.

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