Some artefacts on display originating from the collection of the late Sheikh Nasser Sabah al Ahmed al-Sabah and Sheikh Hessa Sabah al- Salem al-Sabah of Kuwait, known as the al-Sabah Collection, Dar al- Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah Museums Authority in collaboration with Dar Al Athar AlIslamiyyah of Kuwait is organising the “Ziena Splendour of The Indian Courts” exhibition at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation.

Scheduled to run from October 25 through to April 14, 2024, the exhibition seeks to elevate public interest in the diverse and rich cultural heritage of the Indian subcontinent which bears witness to the exquisite Indian craftsmanship and unique techniques, making it the home to the largest collection of jewel-studded arts.

The unique exhibition which aligns with SMA’s efforts to foster cultural understanding and intellectual exchange between Sharjah and Kuwait through museums and exhibitions, showcases 84 carefully curated objects, which make their debut in Sharjah.

Aisha Rashid Deemas, Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority, underscored the importance of the exhibition in highlighting this heritage of exquisite art and the abundant diversity within the collection.

She said it serves as a testament to the cultural and artistic interests of sultans and princes, influenced by new ideas and the evolution of their creativity. She also highlighted the remarkable dynamism that has defined this civilization from its very beginnings.

She commended the fruitful and constructive partnership with Kuwait, elaborating that the displayed artifacts originate from the collection of the late Sheikh Nasser Sabah al Ahmed al-Sabah and Sheikh Hessa Sabah al- Salem al-Sabah of Kuwait which was formed between the mid-1970s and the present day, and is considered as one of the most prestigious repositories of ancient and Islamic art globally.

Dr. Muhammad K. al-Jassar Acting Secretary General/National Council for Culture Arts & Letters, Kuwait, said that His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi and the late Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (1948-2020) shared a deep love for art, culture, and a steadfast commitment to preserving Islamic culture and showcasing its aesthetics.

Items on display

The exhibition features a captivating range of artefacts, including a royal gemstone with a royal inscription that bears the name of the Timurid ruler Ulugh Beg, the grandson of Amir Timur (Tamerlane), dated before his death in 1449 CE.

It also exhibits a jade pendant commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan during 1637-1638 AD, along with an archery ring attributed to the same emperor during the period of 1651-1652 AD.

Further enriching the display is an exquisite collection of jeweled daggers, knives, and swords, complemented by pendants illustrating the Ajoor style of open engraving, a saddle ax crafted from jeweled steel, a gem-encrusted shield, ornate domes and shield adornments, ceremonial scepters, jeweled staff handles, and intricately carved inlaid boxes and vessels.

The array spans various historical periods, offering a rich tapestry of time.

Fun and educative activities

To augment the visitor experience, the authority has organised a series of accompanying interactive activities and workshops.

Families are encouraged to partake in events such as the “The Young Jeweller” workshop, which allows young attendees to design their own jewelry. “Treasures of the Mughals” will enable children to embark on an exciting treasure hunt. Meanwhile, the “Journey in the Royal Court” combines Mongolian culinary practices with adventurous combat challenges.

Additionally, other interactive events allow participants to engrave their own perfume bottles and transform their ideas into crafted jewellery. Young participants can delve into the royal court and bring their creative ideas to life by designing exquisite jewellery during the “Jewellery Design” activity. Also, the “Mughal Fashion Shows” event invites fashion enthusiasts to explore the world of luxurious Mughal fashion, including clothing and accessories.