RTS: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels

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2nd edition. Awakening a new understanding of the diverse tradition of Indian jewelry spanning four hundred years, the first edition of Beyond Extravagance in 2013 revealed for the first time the exceptional Al Thani Collection of the most important royal Indian jewels from the Mughal Empire to the British Raj to the twenty-first century. Exploring the centuries-long tradition of fine jewelry and art objects in India, to contemporary interpretations that continue to evolve today, this spectacular volume has been expanded and updated to highlight over 400 items in this magnificent collection. Key pieces include the carved jade wine cup of Emperor Jahangir, the Shah Jahan Dagger; inscribed imperial spinels belonging to emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan; the Arcot II diamond and the Taj Mahal Emerald; and a ruby and pearl choker made by Cartier for the Maharaja of Patiala.

Presenting a journey through the history of Indian jeweled objects, this splendid new edition features updated chapters by renowned jewelry experts including Vivienne Becker (The Impossible Collection of Jewelry); Katherine Prior (Maharajahs’ Jewels); Michael Spink, a specialist in Islamic and Indian art who lectures at the University of London; and Robert Skelton, one of the foremost authorities on Indian painting and fine objects. Edited by Amin Jaffer, senior curator of The Al Thani Collection, each section includes a detailed catalogue raisonné of featured pieces.


  • 652 pages
  • 400 illustrations
  • English language
  • Released in December 2019
  • W 10.9 x L 14 x D 3.9 in
  • 2 silk hardcover volumes in a luxury slipcase
  • ISBN: 9781614284628
  • 15.43 lbs.


Dr. Amin Jaffer is Chief Curator of The Al Thani Collection, an encyclopedic holding of some 6,000 works of art. Formerly International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s, and former Director of Asian Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Dr. Jaffer has authored a number of books, including Luxury Goods from India and Made for Maharajas: A Design Diary of Princely India. He recently curated the exhibition From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Treasures from the Al Thani Collection at the Grand Palais in Paris, and he has also co-curated Encounters: The Meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 (2004) and Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts (2009-10).

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