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Pendant

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal empire (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Museum number:

    684-1874

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This jewelled pendant was made within the Mughal empire, probably in the late 18th or early 19th century. It is made of nephrite jade, with deeply cut recesses on the front set with gold and gems including one faceted diamond, and flat-topped cabochons including nine pale rubies and ten green stones, probably low-quality emeralds, one of which is missing. The cabochons have been set into reflective and coloured, closed-back gold settings, most of which have subsequently deteriorated and discoloured or faded. The reverse side is undecorated. The pendant was bought in India by William Tayler, 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 flat pendant of a generally bell-shaped form, fashioned in white nephrite jade and with a good overall polish. The back is plain and the front is decorated with a symmetric flower and leaf design consisting of inlaid gold wire and inset gems including one faceted diamond and flat-topped cabochons including nine pale rubies and ten green stones, probably low-quality emerald, one of which is absent. The cabochons have been set into reflective and coloured, closed-back gold settings, most of which have subsequently deteriorated and discoloured or faded. On the top corner, there is a small protrusion that has a hole drilled parallel to the plane of the pendant.

  • Dimensions

    Length: 48.9 mm, Width: 52.9 mm, Thickness: 3.8 to 3.8 mm

  • Object history note

    This pendant 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 £8-0-0.

    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

    A pendant, bell-shaped, white nephrite jade, inset diamond, rubies and emeralds, inlaid in gold, Mughal empire

  • Collection code

    South & South East Asia Collection