Maharaja The Splendour of India's Royal Courts
Editors: Anna Jackson and Amin Jaffer
Publisher/Date: United Kingdom: V & A Publishing/Victoria and Albert Museum (c. 2009) Published to coincide with the exhibition.
Format/Condition: New paperback in Fine condition. 240 pages, index. Dimensions: 9.7 x 12.2 x 0.9 inches. Lavishly illustrated in color.
Description: The word “maharaja” – literally “great king” – conjures up a vision of splendor and magnificence: ropes of pearls, huge diamonds, jeweled turbans, elaborately carved furniture, shimmering textiles in every imaginable color. This lavishly illustrated book, published to accompany a major exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, examines the real and perceived worlds of the maharaja from the early eighteenth century to 1947, when the Indian Princes ceded their territories into the modern states of India and Pakistan.
The book explores the spectacular material culture of India’s rulers, showcasing rich and varied objects that reflect different aspects of royal life. Indian and Western works from a wide range of media including paintings, photographs, textiles and dress, jewelry, jeweled objects, metalwork and furniture are considered within a broader historical context giving readers an understanding of royal status and identity, court culture and patronage.