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  • Place of origin:

    India (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fashioned, polished and engraved using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This amulet was made to protect the wearer from harm or misfortune and has been fashioned in white nephrite jade. It was then crudely engraved with a Persian inscription on one face. It was acquired in India by William Tayler who sold it to this museum in 1874.

Physical description

A flat amulet of a generally oval form with scalloped ends and 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. This smaller protrusion also has a narrow, off-centre groove carved around the edge and down both of its sides. It has been fashioned in white nephrite jade, polished and then the front face has been engraved with a central inscription in Persian that is surrounded with further text which itself lies within a decorative border of numerous small " + " within their own individual boxes. The back face is plain.

Place of Origin

India (made)


19th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Fashioned, polished and engraved using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.


Length: 50.85 mm, Width: 43.4 mm, Thickness: 3.8 to 4.5 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 7 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, scalloped ends, white nephrite jade, Persian inscription, Mughal empire




Amulets; Gemstones; Hardstone; Religion


South & South East Asia Collection

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