Friday, April 30, 2010

The Mughals: Treasury Of The World

My girls went along to the The Treasury Of The World special exhibit at the Asian Civilisations Museums recently. It is running from 12 February to 27th June 2010.

It looks at the Arts in India during the time of the Mughals. They were particularly known for their extraordinary opulence and lavish lifestyles. It is a fascinating travelling exhibition that has been displayed at the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Louvre, Paris. 

If you plan to go, I would highly recommend going on the guided tour, my girls picked up many interesting anecdotes and  information about the beautiful jewels and objects from that session which really brought history alive. As I couldn't accompany them due to illness, I asked my eldest to take lots of photos and to come back and give me a full and detailed account of their time there. I have to say she did a great job and I got very excited about it!

From the photos she took, it is quite apparent that the Mughals loved their jewels and they covered everything and anything in them!

This is a jewel encrusted copy of the Koran and its outer covering.

They wore pearls with everything and one was not considered dressed unless draped in them.

This is the back of a jewel that is fixed to a crystal wine glass and they painted faces on the back so that the guests of the Emperor could amuse themselves looking at them while they waited for the glasses to be refilled!

This giant red Spinel was given to Emperor Jahangir who carved his name on it as well as his father's.  It was then passed down to subsequent Emperor's. It is said that when his favourite wife scolded him for defacing such a beautiful gem, he replied "This jewel will more certainly hand down my name to posterity than any written history."

There are many more magnificent pieces in the exhibition with fascinating stories behind them.

It was hard to find books written for a younger audience specifically about the Mughals, so I resorted to getting books on Ancient India from the library and reading from the section on the Mughals and books about the Taj Mahal - one of the most famous Mughal monuments built by the Emperor Shah Jahan. We had to use the internet for information on the Emperors. These two websites were quite informative:

I created a number of notebooking pages so they could record the things that they had learnt from the tour.

Mughals Notebook pages- this contains a general notebook page on The Mughals, The Emperors and The Taj Mahal

The Treasury Of the World notebook page- I printed out the photos the girls took and they pasted it onto the notebook sheet and wrote some facts about each object. 

It was a wonderful learning opportunity and truly fascinating!

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