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Ranjit Singh's favorite horse and some of his finest jewels
Portraits of The Princes and People of India
Date: 1844
Object Name: Chromolithograph
Materials: Hand-painted chromolithograph on paper
Dimensions: H. 8 1/2 in x W. 7 in, H. 21.6 cm x W. 17.8 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Kapany Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Prints And Drawings
Object Number: 1998.63.14
On Display: Yes
Location: Tateuchi Thematic Gallery
Culture: Sikh

Description

Label:

For millennia, the Indian ideal of kingship mandated that kings were to wear opulent jewelry and fabulous clothing as an expression of their power, wealth, and refinement. Visitors to the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh unfailingly remarked upon its extraordinary splendor. The British commanderin- chief of India, Sir Henry Fane, observed “the dresses and jewels of the Rajah’s court were the most superb that can be conceived.”

For Ranjit Singh, horses were an essential aspect of imperial display. The three large emeralds in the bottom image, drawn to scale, were among the many jewels that festooned the maharaja’s horse. On occasion Ranjit Singh is even said to have adorned his horses with such priceless gems as the Koh-i Noor (Mountain of Light) diamond, shown here in top and side views (top center of image). The Koh-i Noor, one of the largest diamonds in the world, had a fabled history of passing between the Mughal and Persian courts over the centuries, and finally ended up as one of the British crown jewels.


More Information

Inscriptions: Print Sellers by Special Appointment to Her Majesty and H.R.H. the Duchess of Kent
Exhibition History: "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms", Royal Ontario Museum, 5/25/2000 - 8/20/2000

"Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/2017 - 6/18/2017
Label:

For millennia, the Indian ideal of kingship mandated that kings were to wear opulent jewelry and fabulous clothing as an expression of their power, wealth, and refinement. Visitors to the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh unfailingly remarked upon its extraordinary splendor. The British commanderin- chief of India, Sir Henry Fane, observed “the dresses and jewels of the Rajah’s court were the most superb that can be conceived.”

For Ranjit Singh, horses were an essential aspect of imperial display. The three large emeralds in the bottom image, drawn to scale, were among the many jewels that festooned the maharaja’s horse. On occasion Ranjit Singh is even said to have adorned his horses with such priceless gems as the Koh-i Noor (Mountain of Light) diamond, shown here in top and side views (top center of image). The Koh-i Noor, one of the largest diamonds in the world, had a fabled history of passing between the Mughal and Persian courts over the centuries, and finally ended up as one of the British crown jewels.


Inscriptions: Print Sellers by Special Appointment to Her Majesty and H.R.H. the Duchess of Kent
Exhibition History: "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms", Royal Ontario Museum, 5/25/2000 - 8/20/2000

"Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/2017 - 6/18/2017