Turban ornament

Turban ornament

Gold set with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pale beryls
Pakistan
Early 18th century
Museum no. IM.240-1923

Sprays of flowers are commonplace in Mughal art, but it is rare to find an Indian turban jewel reproducing the characteristic border motif of countless textiles, miniatures and metal artefacts. This jewelled gold ornament for the male turban is one of an important group of other turban jewels bought by the V&A in 1922 and 1923 from a Mr Talyarkhan, who had purchased them from the Maharaja of Jaipur. The vendor seems to have suggested that this was an imperial Mughal jewel which had been presented to Jaipur by an 18th century Mughal emperor. However, similar forms are seen in 18th century paintings of Rajasthani rulers and it seems more likely that this example was made in Rajasthan. The aigrette is set with rubies, emeralds and pale beryls on one side, and the same stones with the addition of diamonds on the other. The stem and the sides of the jewel are enamelled in translucent green.