South Asia

Room 41

Plan a visit

The collections from South and South-East Asia comprise nearly 60,000 objects, including about 10,000 textiles and 6,000 paintings covering the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afganistan. The range of the collection is immense.

Read more
See less
The greatest strengths of the collection are in Mughal miniature paintings and decorative arts, especially jades and rock crystal; Indian textiles, including those made for the European and South-East Asian markets; Indian sculpture, especially bronzes; Indian furniture for the Western market; paintings from the Punjab Hill courts; 19th century photographs of India and Burmese decorative arts. Other substantial holdings include jewellery, ceramics, glass, lacquerware, basketry and woodwork from throughout South and South-East Asia and the Himalayas, Tibetan 'tangkas', and Indian film posters and ephemera. The collection of contemporary art from India and Pakistan includes significant works by several major artists.

Exploring South Asia

Photo of Turban ornament, early 18th century, India or Pakistan. Museum no. IM.240-1923. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Turban ornament, early 18th century, India or Pakistan. Museum no. IM.240-1923. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'Tipu's Tiger', a carved and lacquered wooden semi-automaton, Mysore, India, about 1793. Museum no 2545 (IS). © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'Tipu's Tiger', a carved and lacquered wooden semi-automaton, Mysore, India, about 1793. Museum no 2545 (IS). © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Tea set, Oomersi Mawji, about 1880 - 1890. Museum nos. IS.162, 163 and 164-2007. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Tea set, Oomersi Mawji, about 1880 - 1890. Museum nos. IS.162, 163 and 164-2007. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wine cup made for the Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658), India. Museum no. IS.12-1962. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wine cup made for the Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658), India. Museum no. IS.12-1962. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Ikat sari, designed by Neeru Kumar for Tulsi, Delhi, India, 2013. Museum no. IS.13-2015. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Ikat sari, designed by Neeru Kumar for Tulsi, Delhi, India, 2013. Museum no. IS.13-2015. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Ewer, about 1880, Bombay, India. Museum no. IS.2862-1883. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Ewer, about 1880, Bombay, India. Museum no. IS.2862-1883. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Learn more about South Asia

Back to the top