Throne belonging to Maharaja Ranji Singh

Throne belonging to Maharaja Ranji Singh

Made by Hafiz Muhammad of Multan
Wood and resin core covered with sheets of repoussé, chased and engraved gold
Lahore, Pakistan
About 1818
Museum no. 2518(IS)

1818 was the year when Multan finally fell to the Sikhs, and it is likely that the throne was commissioned to mark the event. The court of Ranjit Singh was then at Lahore and the throne is traditionally associated with that city, where it was found on the annexation of the Punjab in 1849. The British Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie, was not sure if the throne would be wanted, writing to London 'It is set apart as an object which the court [of the East India Company] would probably desire to preserve, but as it is bulky, I shall not forward it until I receive orders to do so'. The Company did wish to preserve it and in 1853 the throne travelled to Calcutta (where Dalhousie had a wooden replica made) before it was shipped to the Indian Museum in London. In 1879, Ranjit Singh's Golden Throne moved to the South Kensington Museum, later renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, where it has remained ever since.