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Treasures Of An Era

The Amrapali Museum in Jaipur celebrates Indian jewellery, utilitarian pieces, and objets d’art

Arundhati De-Sheth

As I began my walk-through of the Amrapali Museum in Jaipur, I was filled with déjà vu. Much of what was displayed seemed so very familiar, having grown up in a home where similar silver objéts were found all over the apartment. All the while, I had lived with them in complete oblivion, often incorporating the rose-water sprinklers (ittar daanis) and scroll-holders into playtime with friends. The beauty of the collection at Amrapali Museumis that these everyday, quotidian objects are placed alongside jewellery and rare artefacts to be acknowledged as much for their craftsmanship as their utility.

Opened to the public this January, the museum has been in the making for 40 years. Its founders and curators, Rajiv Arora and Rajesh Ajmera own Amrapali Jewels, the celebrated jewellery house, with boutiques across India, and in London and New York. As a brand, Amrapali embraces heritage, and traditional motifs and designs, crafting jewels that remain true to India’s cultural diversity while fitting into a modern context. Housed in the company’s former office, the Amrapali Museum occupies 6,500 sq ft, spread over two floors. Within this space are distinct niches dedicated to a specific region, story, motif, or perhaps an observation.

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June 2018