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Emerald girdle of Maharaja Sher Singh c. 1840

RCIN 11291

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On her visit to the Great Exhibition on 22 May 1851, Queen Victoria was particularly struck by the ‘jewels & ornaments from Lahore, [which] are quite magnificent, - such pearls, - & a whole girdle of emeralds’. At the conclusion of the Exhibition the Directors of the East India Company presented the Queen with a splendid selection of these jewels. The girdle, which is of traditional Mughal form, was made for Sher Singh (d. 1843) using emeralds - some of which may be seventeenth-century - that had belonged to his father, Runjit Singh, ‘Lion of the Punjab’.