The exquisite and innovative tea wares preserved in the Chitra Collection are testimony to the significance of tea and the rich material culture that it has inspired over the past millennium.While at present the museum is kept privately in London, we are currently working to digitise the majority of the collection and our objects will be shown in future public exhibitions. British-Indian businessman Nirmal Sethia has moved to the UAE and has brought his luxury tea brand Newby Teas to the UAE market with the hope of spreading the culture of fine teas in the region.

In 2011 Nirmal Sethia, the Chairman of the luxury tea company, Newby Teas, set himself the task of acquiring the world’s greatest collection of teawares to record and preserve tea cultures of the past. To find out more about the N. Sethia Foundation visit She has to be judged by her character,” says Sethia, who recently relocated from London to Dubai. In 1920, the Sethia family established themselves as jute traders under the name of K.C. This gallery features a new exhibition exploring the history, significance and contemporary relevance of casts, which has been kindly supported by the Henry Moore Foundation. The Chitra Collection is an extraordinary private museum of historic teawares. Keep a look out on our homepage for news of upcoming events.The Chitra Collection is owned by the N. Sethia Foundation, a charity founded by Nirmal Sethia in 1995, which supports medical research, the arts, youth activities and disaster relief management. Sethia and Co, eventually controlling 50% of the world’s jute trade. Sethia has also amassed the single-biggest collection of tea accessories with 1,700 pieces, valued at US$200 million (Dh734 million), under the Chitra Collection, named after his late wife. So I decided to take the onus of preserving it by buying pieces, some of which go back to 10th century BC. Read our

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Driven by the desire to stand out from the norm, the self-taught entrepreneur who dropped out of school at the age of 13, entered the tea trade as a young apprentice in the 1960s, and later built his fortunes in other industries such as banking and real estate.


“She was confident I would be successful in this venture and I had to do it for her,” he says. “Tea is like a beautiful woman, never to be judged for her appearance. Growing up in one of India’s most prominent business families, Nirmal Sethia could have taken the easy route in life. Tea Leaves Backwards: A peak into the world’s most rare collection of … Richa Sethia: None on record: Nirmal Kumar Sethia (Chair) None on record: Lord Ara Darzi: Health Innovation And System Reform Up-to-date: The Lord Leonard And Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation Up-to-date: Amrao Jain: None on record “The finesse and quality of the tea leaves depends on the latitude, longitude, weather conditions, and most of all, the dedication of the people who pluck the tea. “My father was one of the richest men in India. “I looked around museums and each one had a few pieces that preserved the tea culture from history. “I spent 11 months there and designed a tea factory myself.”After his father passed away when he was 23, Sethia strayed away from his “first love”, and served as the chairman of Sethia Group, which was one of the largest exporters of jute in the country. Tea was also politically and economically significant as a source of profit, a tool of empire and as a trigger for revolution, war and slavery.


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