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  • Ceremonial Ring for Use in Archery which Belonged to Shah Jahan

    Technique:
    incrustation with precious stones, carving, faceting and polishing
    Dimensions:
    diam. 4 cm

Ceremonial Ring for Use in Archery which Belonged to Shah Jahan

India, Second quarter of the 17th century

Indian ruler Shah Jahan (1628-58) was once the owner of this richly decorated ring, a masterpiece of jewellery from the time of the Great Mogul dynasty which ruled India from 1526 to the middle of the 19th century. Such rings were worn on the right thumb when pulling a bowstring, in order to protect the skin of the thumb when the string was released: the arrow rested on the top of the ring. The whole surface of the ring is covered with insets of coloured stones. At the centre is a large six-faceted diamond weighing 6 carats. Other diamonds with Mogul faceting occupy an important place in the decoration, and are themselves surrounded by 21 rubies and 14 small emeralds, all polished. The stones are sunk into deep sockets carved in the gold of the ring, a form of incrustation mastered by Indian jewellers in the late 16th century. On the inner surface of the broad part of the ring is a triangular festooned cartouche with a Persian inscription reading ?The second Sakhibkiran?, ?Sakhibkiran? meaning ?owner of a benevolent combination of planets at birth?. This epithet formed part of the official titles of Shah Jahan and is often found on his belongings and on coins of his time. The ring comes from the treasury of the Great Moguls, stolen by the Iranian ruler Nadir-Shah (1736-47) when he took Delhi in 1739. In the autumn of that year Nadir-Shah sent an embassy to Russia carrying magnificent gifts for the Empress Anna Ioannovna (1730-40). The embassy took two years to travel the road (on elephants) and by the time they arrived a new Empress was on the throne, Elizabeth Petrovna (1741-61). In the second half of the 18th century the gifts were part of the collection of Catherine II's Hermitage.

Title:

Ceremonial Ring for Use in Archery which Belonged to Shah Jahan

Place of creation:

Epoch. Period:

Technique:

incrustation with precious stones, carving, faceting and polishing

Dimensions:

diam. 4 cm

Inventory Number:

VЗ-703

Category:

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