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7 must-see pieces from the V&A's Al Thani collection exhibition

7 must-see pieces from the V&A's Al Thani collection exhibition

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Ceremonial sword

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Ceremonial sword from India

Whether it's displaying fine art or a garage full of the best water toys, many superyachts are also floating homes to their owner's personally curated collections. Few, however, have collections quite like the Al Thani family.

The ruling house of Qatar, this sprawling family counts among its members Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani owner of Al Mirqab, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani owner of Katara and Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani owner of Stargate.

As this list of some of the largest superyachts in the world may suggest, the Al Thani family is not new to a little curation and over the generations has amassed an unrivalled collection of priceless art and objects of Indian descent.

Ceremonial sword with jewelled gold hilt, Hyderabad, South India ca. 1880 – 1900. Courtesy The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited, 2014/Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

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Silk sword sash

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Silk sword sash

This autumn the V&A will display key pieces from the Al Thani family private collection as part of its India Festival. So extensive is the collection that the exhibition will provide a comprehensive span of Indian design ranging from Mughal jades and a rare jewelled gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan to contemporary pieces by fine jewellers including JAR and Bhagat.

Silk sword sash with jewelled gold fittings, India ca. 1900. Courtesy The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited, 2014/Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

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Spinels on a pearl necklace

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Spinels on a pearl necklace

The exhibition itself is the brainchild of HH Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, one the family's most avid curators who, fittingly, was inspired to increase the private collection after visiting the V&A's Maharaja exhibition in 2009.

Spinels on a necklace of cultured pearls with dyed green beryl bead, Mughal Empire. The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited, 2014/Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

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