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Buckle

Buckle

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal empire (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Nephrite jade, gold and ruby. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.

  • Museum number:

    689-1874

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The museum bought this Mughal nephrite jade buckle in 1874 from the former East India Company servant William Tayler, who had acquired it during his time in India. It is made from single piece of nephrite jade. Nephrite is a hard and durable material that can be worked to give small yet strong components but it requires a skilled craftsman to work the material successfully. The nephrite originated from Xinjiang and was used to fashion objects for the Mughal court from the early 17th century onwards. The buckle is set on the front with twelve equally-spaced, pear-shaped, flat-topped ruby cabochons in reflective, coloured, closed-back gold settings, some of which show signs of deterioration.
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".

Physical description

A buckle consisting of a flattened oval ring with a scalloped outer edge and an integral central bar between the ends of the oval. It has been fashioned in off-white nephrite jade and polished all over. The back is plain while the front of the oval ring is carved with small, slightly-dished recesses that correspond with the scalloped edge. This ring has been inset with twelve equally-spaced, pear-shaped, flat-topped ruby cabochons in reflective, coloured, closed-back gold settings, some of which show signs of deterioration.

Place of Origin

Mughal empire (made)

Materials and Techniques

Nephrite jade, gold and ruby. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.

Dimensions

Length: 81.3 mm, Length: 61.2 mm, Width: 61.3 mm, Width: 38.25 mm, Thickness: 10.8 to 11.0 mm, Width: 10.9 to 11.2 mm

Object history note

This buckle 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 £6-0-0.

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

Oval buckle, white nephrite jade, inset rubies in gold settings, Mughal empire

Materials

Nephrite; Gold; Ruby

Categories

Gemstones; Hardstone

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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