Doha, Museum of Islamic Art

Qatar is an ideal location for an exhibition of this scope, comprehensively covering the precious pearl and the pearling industry. Before oil, pearls were a principal source of income for the area, a history that is explored in a section detailing the working conditions; pearl divers operated out of Doha until the 1950s. Today the Qatar Museums Authority treasures one of the most impressive collections of rare pearls anywhere in the world, though pieces for the exhibition were donated from around the world, including the British Museum and the Albion Art collection in Tokyo.

The exhibition is a highly educative and authoritative, comprising scientific facts and over 500 samples from pearl cultivation worldwide. Exceptional pieces on display include the Hope Pearl and the Pearl of Asia, both more than 5 cm in diameter. The Pearl of Asia is believed to be one of the biggest natural pearls in the world, discovered in the Persian Gulf around the 16th or 17th century. The largest pearl ever weighs around 6kg.

Other highlights include the Al Fardan collection, which is the biggest assemblage of natural Gulf pearls in existence, the Melo pearl that are rare pearls from the melo shell, a tiara by Chaumet dated 1897 from Paris, and a section dedicated to Chanel jewelry.

January 30th through April 30th, 2010
Corniche, Doha Harbor
Doha, Qatar
T. 974 422 444