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Enamelled detail of the centre ofa box

Detail from an enamelled box from Jaipur, RCIN 11507 ©

The technique of enamelling was introduced to the Indian subcontinent in the late sixteenth century, when craftsmen attached to the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556 –1605) were sent to learn the technique from European craftsmen based in Portuguese Goa.

By the time of the Prince’s tour in 1875, enamel production had been established in several centres in north India, such as Jaipur, Delhi, Lucknow, Benares and Sindh, each one developing its own styles and colour palettes.