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Crutch handle

Crutch handle

  • Place of origin:

    Delhi (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chalcedony, carved and polished using abrasives.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This crutch handle was fashioned in fine white chalcedony and was bought in Delhi by Mr. William Tayler who later sold it to the museum in 1874.

Physical description

A crutch handle, curved with a rounded cross-section tapering towards the ends which finish in a slight scroll. Situated centrally on the outer curve there is a short protrusion into which a blind hole is located for an attachment to be made. Carved and polished in white, sub-translucent chalcedony, with minimal engraved decoration. There is a crack extending from the drill hole into the main body.

Place of Origin

Delhi (made)

Materials and Techniques

Chalcedony, carved and polished using abrasives.


Length: 122.5 mm 676-1874, Height: 53.0 mm 676-1874 +/- 1.0, Width: 21.55 mm 676-1874

Object history note

This crutch handle was acquired by William Tayler during his time in India (1829-1867). He subsequently sold it to the South Kensington Museum in 1874 for the sum of £1.

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

Crutch handle, sub-translucent white chalcedony, Delhi India




Disability; Gemstones; Hardstone


South & South East Asia Collection

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