Indian ivory throne on show in London

September 01, 2010 12:00 am | Updated 04:20 am IST - LONDON:

An ivory throne with a footstool, presented to Queen Victoria by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1850, is on display at an exhibition — Victoria & Albert: Art & Love — at the Queen's Gallery in the Buckingham Palace.

It was last seen in public at the 1851 Great Exhibition here.

The throne features densely carved ivory plaques that incorporate Indian and European motifs with the conch shell emblem of the Travancore royal family mounted on the crest. It is embossed with gold, diamonds, emeralds and rubies.

While showcasing the carving skills of the local artisans of Travancore with elements and symbols from south India such as lions and elephants, the throne also has symbols of heraldry such as unicorns to appeal to western tastes.

In the official portrait marking her ascension as the “Empress of India,” Victoria was shown seated on the throne. The artefact was later kept at the Windsor Castle and recently restored.

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