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Diamond and Enamel Sword Hilt of the Maharajah
- This sword hilt represents the very highest achievement of Indian jewelry design
- Set with over 1,120 diamonds, the magnificence of this jewel-encrusted and enamel hilt is unmatched
- Commissioned by the Maharajah, this was made for the famed 1903 Delhi Durbar
- It represents the amalgamation of Indian and European artistry
- Get complete item description here
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This sword hilt, prominently featured in Maharajah Jagatjit’s formal portrait, represents the very highest achievement of Indian jewelry design. Marked by a diamond floral motif, intricate filigree work and bountiful engravings, the sword maintains connections with traditional Indian symbolism while incorporating. The blue enamel is associated with enamel centers in Punjab, Lahore and Jaipur, while the handle is formed of a raging lion’s head with piercing ruby eyes. Tigers were ancient Indian symbol of kingship, and often formed the pommels of Mughal rulers’ swords. In choosing to showcase a lion on his ornate sword’s hilt, Maharajah Jagatjit offered a nod to that time-honored tradition while incorporating Western symbolism, as lions are more commonly associated with royalty in England.
The Delhi Durbar celebrated the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as the Emperor and Empress of India, showcasing both British power as well as Indian cultural heritage. It placed Indian design, art, music and dance on the global stage in spectacular form. Kings and princes alike displayed only the very best of their jewels, swords and dress for the occasion. Maharajah Jagatjit spared no expense in adorning his personal items with the world's most precious and stunning stones, which served as outward signs of his wealth and abundance. A rare and important piece of Indian history, the sword hilt is a monumental reflection of the Maharajah's dedication to blending the political power of east and west while preserving Indian cultural identity.
8 3/4“ high x 6 1/2” wide x 1“ deep
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