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  • Place of origin:

    India (made)

  • Date:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Various quartz hardstones and also cobalt blue and aventurine glass. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This small selection of objects shows the range of items that could be produced from the local rocks and minerals of India in the mid-19th century. They include various quartz hardstones, cobalt blue and aventurine glass in the form of obelisks, plaques and cabochons for jewellery and a paperweight.They were purchased from the collection of William Tayler in 1875.

Physical description

A collection of fashioned quartz hardstones in various sizes, shapes and colours, many damaged and repaired.

Place of Origin

India (made)



Materials and Techniques

Various quartz hardstones and also cobalt blue and aventurine glass. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.


Length: 103.75 mm 454:2-1875, Width: 80.7 mm 454:2-1875, Thickness: 5.2 mm 454:2-1875, Length: 79.3 mm 454:9-1875, Width: 58.8 mm 454:9-1875, Thickness: 4.1 mm 454:9-1875, Length: 67.7 mm 454:26-1875, Width: 54.0 mm 454:26-1875, Thickness: 3.8 mm 454:26-1875, Diameter: 37.0 to 38.0 mm 454:57-1875, Height: 5.8 to 6.1 mm 454:57-1875, Depth: 3.4 mm 454:57-1875, Length: 35.1 mm 454:58-1875, Width: 4.35 mm 454:58-1875, Thickness: 3.0 mm 454:58-1875, Length: 60.6 mm 454:63-1875, Width: 34.0 mm 454:63-1875, Thickness: 4.15 mm 454:63-1875, Height: 92.8 mm 454:79-1875, Length: 47.05 mm 454:79-1875, Width: 42.5 mm 454:79-1875, Diameter: 22.8 to 23.5 mm 454:82-1875, Weight: 17.3 g 454:82-1875, Diameter: 76.0 to 77.0 mm 454:103-1875, Height: 43.9 mm 454:103-1875

Object history note

These objects are part of a collection of minerals, primarily of the quartz family, that were acquired by William Tayler during his time in India (1829-1867). He understood that they originated from the Son (Sone) and Narmada (also known as the Rewa) rivers. This collection was bought by the South Kensington Museum in 1875 for the sum of £25.
William Tayler was educated in England at Charterhouse and also spent a term at Christ Church, Oxford. He entered service with the East India Company on 30th April 1829, arriving in India in October of the same year. He held various posts in Bengal and was appointed Commissioner of Patna in 1855. During his service, he was able to acquire many objects, including hardstones, relating to the customs and religions of India as well as objects from other parts of South Asia.
He was criticised for his handling of the uprisings in Northern India and was moved to a lesser post before being suspended, ultimately resigning on 29th March 1859. He then practised as an advocate in the law courts of Bengal before returning to England in 1867.
He wrote a book about his experiences, entitled Thirty-eight Years in India, in which he states that "After my return to England, circumstances induced me, though with great reluctance, to part with the collection which is now in the South Kensington Museum".

Descriptive line

A collection of fashioned quartz hardstones of various sizes, shapes and colours, many damaged and repaired.


Agate; Bloodstone; Jasper


Gemstones; Glass; Hardstone; Jewellery; Plaques & Plaquettes


South & South East Asia Collection

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