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Amulet

Amulet

  • Place of origin:

    India (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Formed from the melt and then shaped and inscribed using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

  • Museum number:

    1199-1874

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This amulet was made to protect the wearer from harm or misfortune and it was acquired by the collector, William Tayler during his time in India. He believed that it had been made from green jade but it has in fact been made from green glass that contains numerous inclusions such as bubbles as well as solid debris, and it still has some of the original surfaces from when the molten glass was shaped. It bears an inscription on one face.

Physical description

A flat amulet of a generally elongated oval form, with a long, narrow protrusion on both of the long sides. On the top of one of the protrusions is a second, much shorter one that has been drilled to give a hole that lies parallel to the plane of the amulet and aligned with the length of the oval. Fashioned in bluish green glass, the back face has the original surface which is shiny and slightly uneven and the front face has been ground relatively flat, partially polished and then engraved with an inscription. There are numerous included bubbles present and many other materials are also visible.

Place of Origin

India (made)

Date

19th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Formed from the melt and then shaped and inscribed using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

Dimensions

Length: 45.85 mm, Width: 32.0 mm, Thickness: 4.75 mm

Object history note

This amulet was acquired by William Tayler during his time in India (1829-1867). He subsequently sold it to the South Kensington Museum (later renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum) in 1874 for the sum of 4 Shillings.

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

Amulet, generally oval, green glass, inscribed, India, 19th century

Materials

Glass

Categories

Amulets; Glass; Hardstone; Religion

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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