East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection explores themes of influence and exchange between India and Europe through dazzling jewelry, carved jades, enameled gold, and famous diamonds. The exhibition features more than 150 exquisite objects made in India or inspired by its traditions, ranging from the 16th century to the present. In India, this cultural exchange led to formal evolutions of traditional objects.
Mughal emperors and later Indian rulers wore turban ornaments as a sign of their rank. Often designed as large jeweled brooches and backed by plumes of feathers, these objects represented an opportunity to show off large gemstones. Usually worn only by the emperor, turban ornaments were given as presents to favored princes and courtiers in exceptional circumstances.