The Archduchess Marie-Valerie Tiara, Vienna, by Köchert, circa 1913 © Qatar Museums Collection.

MOSCOWQatar Museums is proud to present Pearls: Treasures from the Seas and the Rivers as part of the activities of Qatar-Russia 2018 Year of Culture. This exhibition, which shows the diversity and breadth of the Qatar Museums collection, is a rare opportunity to see one of the finest specimens of pearl jewellery ever assembled. More than 100 pieces have been curated by the internationally renowned pearl expert, Dr. Hubert Bari, from around the world, including the Gulf, Europe and Asia. Marvel at masterpieces by Cartier, a spectacular tiara worn by Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria, and five royal tiaras from other European monarchies. Other highlights include ethnographic and tribal pieces of pearl jewellery such as headdresses from Tibet. 

Another motive for exhibiting this glorious past at the State Historical Museum is that the rivers and lakes of Russia delivered pearls in vast quantities as well. These freshwater pearls, though not widely known, embellished icons in churches, horses’ garments and cloth for the imperial nobility. The pearl is the only naturally beautiful gem which is neither cut nor polished by man. This exhibition answers many of the questions surrounding these natural wonders of the sea, and celebrates this amazing gemstone in all its glory.

11 July – 1 October 2018. Revolution Square 2/3, Moscow 109012

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Diadem of gold, silver, diamonds and natural pearls, Chaumet, Paris, 1897 © Qatar Museums Collection.

Diadem of gold, silver, diamonds and natural pearls, German, circa 1830. From the estate of John George of Saxony (1869-1938), Royal House of Hanover © Qatar Museums Collection.

The Rosebery Tiara© Qatar Museums Collection.

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Pendant with an impressive pink diamonds and a pearl, British, circa 1800. © Qatar Museums Collection.

Necklace of seven strings of pearls. © Qatar Museums Collection.

Necklace 'Hoarfrost'. © Qatar Museums Collection.

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A Tiffany brooch made of pearls from Mississippi© Qatar Museums Collection.

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Headdress ornament made for a noble Tibetan woman. Freshwater pearls on felt, circa 1900© Qatar Museums Collection.

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A pearl salad with 21 pearls coming from various species of shells. © Qatar Museums Collection.

Pearl divers from Qatar during the fishing season, circa 1931, Qatar Museums Colelction

Pearl divers from Qatar during the fishing season, circa 1931© Qatar Museums