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Armlet

  • Place of origin:

    India (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Nephrite, fashioned by hand, primarily using abrasives.

  • Museum number:

    693-1874

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This armlet has been fashioned from a single piece of nephrite jade. The rope-like twist is an exceptionally difficult form to produce to an evenness that is acceptable top the eye, especially when it is being carved by hand. This would have been made by a skilled and experienced craftsman. It was acquired by William Tayler during his time in India and bought from him by the museum in 1874. 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 circular armlet of one-piece construction, fashioned in pale greyish green nephrite jade. It has carved decoration in the form of a spiral around most of the armlet, with a plain gap in the design on opposing sides. There are a few iron-stained cracks to the body that pre-exist the fashioning process.

  • Dimensions

    Diameter: 81.4 to 82.0 mm, Diameter: 56.1 to 56.1 mm, Thickness: 11.8 to 12.0 mm

  • Object history note

    This armlet 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 £3-10-0.

    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

    An armlet, carved spiral design, pale greyish green nephrite jade, India

  • Collection code

    South & South East Asia Collection