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India

Sabre and scabbard

Gold, pearl, velvet, steel | 13.5 cm (Width) x 3.0 cm (Depth); 93.0 cm (Length) (whole object) | RCIN 62867

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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  • Indian sabre: the gold hilt with a serpent's head grip and seed pearl tassel; the hilt set on one side with seed pearls arranged 'H.R.H. The Prince of Wales' and engraved on the other with the arms of Bhopal, the cross-guards terminating in tigers' heads. The watered steel blade with cut-outs enclosing seed pearls. Red velvet covered wooden scabbard with a gold mouth-piece, the chape pierced and diamond encrusted with flowers.  En suite with a dagger (RCIN 62866).
    Provenance

    Presented to Edward, Prince of Wales by the Begum of Bhopal, Sultan Jahan (1858-1930), in 1921. 

    Bhopal was distinctive among the Indian princely states for being governed by a succession of widows who ruled with the consent of their people and the British Government. The Prince of Wales spent three days there during his 'Eastern Tour' of 1921-22.  He was formally received at the Sadar Manzil palace, where a state banquet was held.  An account of the tour, published in 1922, recorded that the Begum was 'a perfect hostess', wearing 'a belted robe of rich light blue brocade embroidered in purple, and a "burqa" - a long veil of cream lace draped from a flat, box-like cap that hid her hair' - 'although her features are hidden from the world, she is, nevertheless, as active and as powerful as any Indian Prince' (The Prince of Wales' Eastern Book, unpaginated).

    Recorded in the North Corridor at Windsor Castle with the matching dagger, also presented by the Begum of Bhopal (RCIN 62866) - WC Nrth Corr 2444.

  • Medium and techniques

    Gold, pearl, velvet, steel

    Measurements

    13.5 cm (Width) x 3.0 cm (Depth); 93.0 cm (Length) (whole object)

  • Place of Production

    India