Al Thani Bejewelled Treasures Exhibition At The V A

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

Al-Thani - Bejewelled Treasures Exhibition at the V & A

Date: 19th March 2016

Attended this stunning exhibition just before Christmas.  Lovely Emma - who featured in the Real Marigold Hotel - is a jewellery designer with her busines in Jaipur.  She often comes back for exhibitons etc.  I really felt she would adore this exhibition so today I took her and she was duly amazed.

I can't begin to describe the magnificence of the workmanship; the cutting, carving and setting of the jewels; the enamalling; the infinitisemal detail.

At the end of the exhibition there is a short video showing the Indian craftsmen at work cutting diamonds, enamelling and also setting them in the Kundana style which is used by Emma's jewellers. An added bonus was that she knows both the jewellery makers featured in the video.

It took twice as long as last time to get around the exhibition because so many ladies stopped me to ask about India and had the double pleasure of meeting Emma - in fact a couple of them invited us to lunch but we had too much catching up to do otherwise we would have taken up the invitation.

On my way back to the Underground I looked again at the work of a pavement artist.  He works in sand and it takes an enormous amount of time to create his works.  I arrived at 11.30 and was on my way back at 4.30 and in all that time he created the work below.  I couldn't help wondering why he put so much effort into something which he will have to destroy when it gets dark and people no longer donate - he seemed totally absorbed in his creation and didn't engage with the public at all.  I would love to have spoken to and found out more about him.

I missed one train at St. Pancras and because of having a longish wait for the next decided to have a hot chocolate.  Imagine my total surprise when I proferred payment to be told 'It is on the House' - there was no catch and the lovely man didn't recognise me either so why I got a free drink I have no idea.  I didn't ask his name and I won't tell you which café because I wouldn't want him to get into trouble.  What a lovely gesture.

And my lovely day didn't end there.  On the morning train a nice lady recognised me - not from Marigold but from my newsreading days (she must have been a young teenager) and we had a chat.  She and her husband were taking their children to the Arsenal - not my cup of tea I'm afraid.  I told her where I was going and on my return journey was just getting into my car when out of the dark came a voice 'Did you have a good time?' - the same lady.  I asked who won - in my ignorance thinking they'd gone to a match - but they'd taken the children for a tour of the grounds and they too had a lovely day.

Al-Thani - Bejewelled Treasures Exhibition at the V & A

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