This exhibition was on display from April 07, 2017 to August 27, 2017.

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These exquisite jeweled objects highlight the creative and spirited era broadly examined in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s and showcase the collecting skills of Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan. Both connoisseurs of artistic traditions valued for their intricacy of detail –he for Persian miniatures, she for early books and manuscripts - their eye for complex creations is manifest in these boxes for cigarettes, compacts, and vanity cases, as well as in the jeweled clocks and watches. True “objects of vertu”— luxury objects whose virtuosity of craftsmanship is at least as important as their function —these small compositions incorporate geometric and arabesque motifs in enamel, or exotic scenes from the Far to Middle East in inlaid shell. Designed mostly for women engaged in socially adventurous activities—such as cigarette smoking, going to night clubs, applying makeup in public, or checking the time—they were later collected as works of art more than for use.
Prince Sadruddin, born in Paris, Harvard educated, multilingual, and multicultural, worked for over 40 years for the United Nations, serving as UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 12 years. A co-founder of the Paris Review and an ardent environmentalist, he was also a great art collector, especially of Islamic Art. This extraordinary and extensive collection, created for his Egyptian-born wife Catherine from 1972 until his death in 2003, has never been exhibited publicly.

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This object has not been digitized yet.
This object has not been digitized yet.
This object has not been digitized yet.
This object has not been digitized yet.
  • Compact, Panther, ca. 1928
  • black enamel, black onyx, carved emerald, baguette and other diamonds,....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.67
  • Vanity Case, Panther, 1925
  • calibré-cut and cabochon rubies, mother-of-pearl, turquoise, onyx, diamonds,....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.87
  • Vanity Case, ca. 1930
  • gold, enamel, diamonds, mirrored plate glass.
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.36
  • Vanity Case, Persian, 1930
  • enamel, diamonds, carved jadeite, rose-cut diamonds, 18-karat gold, platinum.
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.22
  • Vanity Case, Buddha, ca. 1930
  • guilloché enamel, carved jadeite, diamonds, cabochon sapphire, enamel,....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.32
  • Compact, Bonsai Tree, 1928
  • carved jadeite, cabochon sapphires, enamel, rose-cut diamonds, gold.
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.37
  • Vanity Case, ca. 1927
  • carved nephrite, platinum-mounted diamonds,enamel, gold, carved jade,....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.81
  • Cigarette Case, ca. 1927
  • agate, black enamel, carved coral, cabochon emeralds, carved onyx, diamonds,....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.58
  • Compact, Dragon, ca. 1924
  • enamel, mother-of-pearl, natural pearls, shell, rose-cut diamonds, carved....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.79
  • Box, Lac Burgauté, ca. 1927
  • gold, lac burgauté (panels), round diamonds, carved coral, black enamel,....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.80
  • Vanity Case, Fox, ca. 1928
  • jadeite, carved coral, gold, mother-of-pearl, diamonds, mirrored plate glass,....
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.44
  • Vanity Case, ca. 1925
  • red and black lacquer, black and green enamel, diamonds, gold, platinum.
  • Lent by Private Collection.
  • 13.2016.19