Maharaja: the splendour of India's royal courts

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V & A Publishing, Sep 1, 2009 - Art - 240 pages
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  The word “maharaja” – literally “great king” – conjures up a vision of splendor and magnificence:  ropes of pearls, huge diamonds, jeweled turbans, elaborately carved furniture, shimmering textiles in every imaginable color.  This lavishly illustrated book, published to accompany a major exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, examines the real and perceived worlds of the maharaja from the early eighteenth century to 1947, when the Indian Princes ceded their territories into the modern states of India and Pakistan.
The book explores the spectacular material culture of India’s rulers, showcasing rich and varied objects that reflect different aspects of royal life.  Paintings, photographs, textiles and dress, jewelry, jeweled objects, metalwork, and furniture— Indian objects as well as pieces imported to India from the West—are considered within a broader historical context, exploring royal status and identity, court culture and patronage.

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Sponsors Foreword
Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber
Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Punjab
Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala
Maharana Fateh Singh of Mewar
Indian Princes and the West

About the author (2009)

Anna Jackson is Deputy Keeper of the V&A’s Asian Department. She co-curated Encounters: the Meeting of Asia and Europe 1500–1800 with Amin Jaffer and co-edited the accompanying book. She is also the author of Japanese Textiles and and a contributor to Art Deco.
Amin Jaffer is International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s. He was previously Senior Curator in the V&A’s Asian Department and is the author of  Furniture from British India and Ceylon and Made for Maharajas.

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