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Amulet

Amulet

  • Place of origin:

    India (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    White nephrite jade, gold, ruby. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.

  • Museum number:

    1193-1874

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This amulet was made to protect the wearer from harm or misfortune and, in view of the materials used, it was probably the property of a wealthy or notable person.

Physical description

A flat, heart-shaped pendant with a protrusion at the top, opposite the point, that has two lugs that have been drilled with holes that lie parallel to the plane of the pendant. There is a small, round ruby cabochon in a gold setting located in each face, near the centre and aligned with each other. There are remnants of the cord attachments running through the drill holes.

Place of Origin

India (made)

Materials and Techniques

White nephrite jade, gold, ruby. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.

Dimensions

Length: 50.7 mm, Length: 55.0 mm, Width: 50.8 mm, Thickness: 3.4 to 3.7 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 6 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

An amulet pendant, heart shaped, white nephrite jade, inset ruby, gold setting, India

Materials

Nephrite; Gold; Ruby

Categories

Amulets; Gemstones; Hardstone; Religion

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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