Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Treasures From CSMVS Come Alive In New Permanent Galleries

Location : CSMVS, Mumbai

Date : 23/02/2020

Phone : 022 2284 4484

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Treasures From CSMVS Come Alive In New Permanent Galleries

Opening of two permanent galleries (Jewellery and Money) and a Special Exhibition Hall at


MUMBAI; Sunday, 23rd Feb 2020, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)has a collection of over 70,000 artefacts out of which several are in the reserves. The Museum will now be putting some of its rarest and most precious artefacts on display, several of which have never been seen. Taking the form of brand new jewellery and money galleries, the displays promise to illuminate objects and stories that will spark new curiosities for all.

The Jewellery Gallery

The Museum has a significant collection of Jewellery, some of which will be displayed for the first time, through a rich and nuanced narrative on the subject which will appeal to one and all. The collection on display will include jewellery from the Harappan civilization, beautiful beads from the Maurya and Kushan periods and jewellery discovered in numerous hoards from various locations. The collection is made particularly unique by pieces that represent the traditions and preferences of common people. The most important highlight of the collection will be 850 hair ornaments from different parts of India and the world which were acquired by the Museum a decade ago from Smt. Veena Shroff, an eminent dancer and collector.

The Indian branch of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has gifted the Museum carefully crafted replicas of the Golconda diamonds. This will be a rare glimpse for visitors to help understand how the originals may have looked. P. N. Gadgil & Sons from Pune have gifted the Museum a set of traditional Mahrashtrian ornaments for a section dedicated to the state of Maharashtra and its history of adornment.

The gallery has been co curated by Dr. Usha R. Balakrinshan and Ms. Manisha Nene. This endeavour has become possible due to the generous support of the Hemendra Kothari Foundation in fond memory of Mr. Kothari’s wife Late Smt. Bindu Hemendra Kothari.

The Money Gallery

The Museum has a collection of over 37,000 coins, several of which were on public view in a gallery titled ‘House of Lakshmi’ till 2017. The collection showcased some of the most striking and historical pieces of coinage from the Museum’s vast collection and was particularly popular with children and adults. The gallery will now be reopened with a new narrative that tells the story of money in a contemporary manner.

Numismatics being a crucial field of enquiry that delves into socio-political and ethnographic histories will allow visitors to discover everything about their owner, maker and user. While conceiving the renewed ‘Money Gallery’, it was decided to reimagine the gallery within the larger economic and social frameworks that birthed the idea of money. The gallery will take visitors along a chronological journey of what money meant and the forms it took through centuries. Some of the coins and currency notes on display will represent striking workmanship with motifs and portraits, some narrate tales of the kings and emperors, and some are evidences of important historical accounts.

From punch mark coins of the 6th century BCE to currency notes, the collections in the Museum record almost every major development in Indian coinage and economics — Ancient Indian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, North Indian, Satavahana, Western Indian, Maratha, Delhi Sultanate, Mughal, South Indian, Indo-Portuguese, East India Company, Post-Independence, special issues and modern day bank notes. The gallery will showcase an interdisciplinary reading of money, coinage and currency — encouraging viewers to look not just into the economics of historical exchange systems but also the terms of that exchange - cultural influences, impact of such exchange, the art and the writing, depictions and motifs, politics of the imagery and the shifting value of money. I am certain it will be both a critical and immersive experience for all visitors, especially students from schools and colleges

The gallery has been curated by Vandana Prapanna in presenting the collections in this new light. The Gallery has been supported by the Hemendra Kothari Foundation in memory of Late Saumil N Shah.

Both the galleries will be accompanied by information booklets on the collections.

Notes to the Editor

About the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, is one of the premier museum and cultural institutions of India. It is a not-for-profit organisation opened to the public in 1922 and is governed by a Board of Trustees. Designed by George Wittet, a British architect in 1909, the Museum building is a Grade I Heritage Structure and is a fine example of the Indo Saracenic style of architecture. The Museum houses a 70,000-strong multicultural collection of artefacts from Asia and Europe. The Museum is a part of the recently declared The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been awarded the Platinum Certificate for its Green Practices by the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council)