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Chauri holder

Chauri holder

  • Place of origin:

    Jaipur (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamel set with natural white sapphires and rubies in gold and silver

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lord Curzon of Kedleston, KG, GCSI, GCIE, DCL

  • Museum number:

    IM.255-1927

  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case 11

An essential item of court paraphernalia was the fly-whisk held symbolically over the head of the ruler and called a chauri. The original yak's tail is missing from this piece, almost certainly made in Jaipur in the late 19th century. The section that would have held the yak's tail is in the form of an open flower calix decorated with blue enamel, with small details in green and red enamel, set with natural white sapphires and rubies in gold and silver. The stem is also enamelled, but the lower third of the stem is of blued steel overlaid in gold with a spiral design of flowers and butterflies. The terminal is in the form of a jewelled elephant head, enamelled in blue, red and green, and with white enamelled tusks. The piece is made in six sections enclosing a copper core, all locked into place by screw-turn of the elephant head. It was formerly owned by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, and was bequeathed to the museum in 1927.

Physical description

The section that would have held the yak's tail is in the form of an open flower calix decorated with blue enamel, with small details in green and red enamel, set with natural white sapphires and rubies in gold and silver. The stem is also enamelled, but the lower third of the stem is of blued steel overlaid in gold with a spiral design of flowers and butterflies. The terminal is in the form of a jewelled elephant head, enamelled in blule, red and green, and with white enamelled tusks. The piece is made in six sections enclosing a copper core, all locked into place by screw-turn of the elephant head .

Place of Origin

Jaipur (made)

Date

ca. 1870 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Enamel set with natural white sapphires and rubies in gold and silver

Dimensions

Length: 21.375 in, Diameter: 2.875 in cup

Object history note


Jackson, Anna and Jaffer, Amin (eds), with Deepika Ahlawat. Maharaja : the splendour of India's royal courts. London, V&A Publishing, 2009. ISBN.9781851775736 (hbk.), ISBN.1851775730 (hbk.).

Descriptive line

chauri. Jaipur, 19th century. Gold silver, gilt copper, gold damascened blue steel with white sapphires, rubies and trasluscent and opaque emanels, Jaipur, Rajasthan, c. 1870.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

pps. 44 and 45
Jackson, Anna and Ji Wei (eds.) with Rosemary Crill, Ainsley M. Cameron and Nicholas Barnard, compiled by the Palace Museum, translated by Yuan Hong, Qi Yue and Liu Ran. The Splendour of India' Royal Courts : Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Beijing: the Forbidden City Publishing House, 2013. Text in English and Chinese. ISBN 9787513403917.
Plate 65, page 86.

Labels and date

YAK TAIL WHISK HOLDER: Gold silver, gilt copper, gold overlaid blued steel with white sapphires, rubies and translucent and opaque enamels. [Nehru Gallery, 2001]

Materials

Gold; Enamel; White sapphires

Categories

Ceremonial objects; Enamels

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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