Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Unusual Artifacts: The Lucknow Throne, 1820

Lucknow Throne
Robert Home
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here, we see an Indian throne chair of wood, gilt brass and gilt gesso mounts, painted decoration and blue velvet upholstery. The chair dates to about 1820.

Known as the “Lucknow Throne Chair,” this chair is a rare surviving example of palace furniture from Lucknow in northern India. This opulent piece of furniture was a gift from Ghazi-ud-din Haidar, Nawab and King of Oudh (ruled 1814 to 1827), to Lord Amherst, the Governor-General of India which was given during Amherst's visit to Lucknow in 1827.

Though it was built to be used by an Indian ruler, the chair was actually designed by the celebrated Scottish artist Robert Home who was court painter at Lucknow. There, Home designed regalia, royal carriages, howdahs, barges and palace furnishings in the popular European fashions of the day. The typical British design of this piece is further adorned with the twin-fish badge of the rulers of Lucknow.

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