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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South Asia, Room 41

Turban Ornament
early 18th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Sprays of flowers are commonplace in Mughal art, but it is rare to find an Indian turban jewel reproducing the characteristic border motif of countless textiles, miniatures and metal artefacts. This jewelled gold ornament for the male turban is one of an important group of other turban jewels bought by the V&A in 1922 and 1923 from a Mr Talyarkhan, who had purchased them from the Maharaja of Jaipur. The vendor seems to have suggested that this was an imperial Mughal jewel which had been presented to Jaipur by an 18th century Mughal emperor. However, similar forms are seen in 18th century paintings of Rajasthani rulers and it seems perhaps more likely that this example was made in Rajasthan. The aigrette is set with rubies, emeralds and pale beryls on one side, and the same stones with the addition of diamonds on the other. The stem and the sides of the jewel are enamelled in translucent green.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold, diamonds, rubies and emeralds
Brief Description
Turban ornament, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pale beryls, Mughal, early 18th century.
Physical Description
Gold, set with rubies, emeralds, and pale beryls on one side, and rubies, diamonds and emeralds on the other. Enamelled in translucent green on the stem.
Dimensions
  • Height: 16.8cm
  • Width: 5.8cm
Object history
This is part of an important group of turban jewels bought by the V & A in 1922 and 1923 from a Mr. Talyarkhan, who said that he had purchased them from the Maharaja of Jaipur. The similarity of the form to that depicted in a painting of the Mewar Maharana Bhim Singh, may indicate that it was made in Rajasthan.



Subject depicted
Summary
Sprays of flowers are commonplace in Mughal art, but it is rare to find an Indian turban jewel reproducing the characteristic border motif of countless textiles, miniatures and metal artefacts. This jewelled gold ornament for the male turban is one of an important group of other turban jewels bought by the V&A in 1922 and 1923 from a Mr Talyarkhan, who had purchased them from the Maharaja of Jaipur. The vendor seems to have suggested that this was an imperial Mughal jewel which had been presented to Jaipur by an 18th century Mughal emperor. However, similar forms are seen in 18th century paintings of Rajasthani rulers and it seems perhaps more likely that this example was made in Rajasthan. The aigrette is set with rubies, emeralds and pale beryls on one side, and the same stones with the addition of diamonds on the other. The stem and the sides of the jewel are enamelled in translucent green.
Bibliographic References
  • Susan Stronge, Nima Smith, and J.C. Harle. A Golden Treasury : Jewellery from the Indian Subcontinent London : Victoria and Albert Museum in association with Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad, 1988.pp 52-53
  • The Indian Heritage. Court life and Arts under Mughal Rule London: The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982 Number: ISBN 0 906969 26 3p. 109, cat. no. 308
  • Traditional jewelry of India / Oppi Untracht. London: Thames and Hudson Limited London, 1997 Number: 0500017808pp. 382 and 383, pl. nos 829 and 830
  • The art of India and Pakistan, a commemorative catalogue of the exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1947-8. Edited by Sir Leigh Ashton. London: Faber and Faber, [1950]p. 224, cat. no. 1100
  • Susan Stronge, Jewels for the Mughal court, The V&A Album V, 1986, pp. 308-317, illustrated fig. 13, p. 317
  • Barnard, Nick, Indian Jewellery: The V&A Collection London: V&A Publishing, 2008pl.6.9
  • The V&A Album, 5, London: 1986 Number: ISBN 1851770771Stronge, Susan, Jewels for the Mughal Court, pp. 308-317
Collection
Accession Number
IM.240-1923

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record createdJanuary 14, 2003
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