Physical Description :- Octagonal throne, of waisted shape, with 8 feet and handles at narrowest part. The throne has a raised, solid back, with supports on the left and right side, from which tassles hang. The seat contains gold and red cushions and overall the gold is embossed with abstract designs. The distinctive cusped base of this throne is composed of two tiers of lotus petals.

Place or Origin :- Lahore (made), Punjab, India..

Date :- Circa 1818.

Materials and Techniques :- Wood and resin core, covered with sheets of gold worked in repoussé, chased and engraved

Dimension :- Height: 94 cm, Width: 90 cm, Depth: 77 cm, Height: 51 cm seat

Credit Line:- The Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie.

Object history note:-

This golden throne of Bhatti Jat ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh was made for him around 1818 at Lahore by the goldsmith Hafez Muhammad Multani. It shows clearly the splendour of Ranjit Singh’s court. In Europe, royal furniture is usually simply gilded, which creates the effect of gold without incurring the cost. However, in India the reverse is true, and thrones are decorated with richly worked sheets of gold. The distinctive cusped base of this throne is composed of two tiers of lotus petals. The lotus is a symbol of purity and creation and has traditionally been used as a seat or throne for Hindu Gods. However, the octagonal (eight-sided) shape of the throne is based on courtly furniture of the Mughals.
1818 was the year when Multan finally fell to the Sikhs, and it is likely that the throne was commissioned to mark the event and was part of the State Property taken by the British in 1849 on the annexation of Punjab, after the Second Anglo-Sikh War and took over the royal treasury by The Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie.

Current Location :- Victoria Albert Museum, London, U.K.

Written by
Mr.Sahil Singh Baliyan

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