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  • Place of origin:

    Agra (probably, made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pink sandstone, carved and pierced

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Architecture, Room 128, case WE, shelf EXP

This openwork panel (jali) is made of carved pink sandstone and is in the style of those found on royal monuments of the Mughal emperors, notably those of the city of Fathpur Sikri that Akbar (r. 1556-1605) founded in the 1570s near Agra. The pierced screen is known as a "jali" and they were used to great visual effect in Mughal architecture. They had the practical purpose of providing privacy, especially to the women of the court, and shade from sunlight while allowing for the passage of cool air. They usually have geometric decorative schemes which, while based on simple combinations of basic forms such as the square, circle and hexagon, set up a visual counterpoint in which rhythmically organised patterns baffle the eye. This example was probably copied in the 19th century from original screens in Agra or Delhi.

Physical description

Openwork panel Jali. This carved and pierced pink sandstone panel was copied from the late 16th or early 17th century originals at the Mughal cities of Agra or Fatehpur Sikri. It would often be used to screen the royal ladies from view, while allowing them to observe. Agra, 19thc.

Place of Origin

Agra (probably, made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Pink sandstone, carved and pierced


Height: 59 cm, Width: 56.5 cm

Object history note

Probably commissioned or bought by Caspar Purdon Clarke during his 1882-1883 purchasing tour of India.
Transferred from the India Museum to South Kensington Museum in November 1879.

Descriptive line

Carved and pierced openwork Jali screen, pink sandstone, Agra 19th c.

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

p. 72, cat. no. 56
Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.



Subjects depicted

Geometric patterns


Architectural fittings


South & South East Asia Collection

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