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Openwork silver frame lined with gold and set transparent with diamonds; narrow band edged with pearls, surmounted by four crosses-pattée, the front cross set with a pale yellow brilliant, and four sprays representing the national emblems of the Un

Dazzling pieces of jewellery, insignia and other works of art

India

Sword and scabbard

Gold, coloured enamel, diamonds, steel | Sword 88.5 cm long, scabbard: 89.7cm long (whole object) | RCIN 11288

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This richly decorated sword and scabbard, set with 719 diamonds, was given to King Edward VII on the occasion of his coronation by the Maharajah of Jaipur, Sawai Sir Madho Singh Bahadur (1861-1922). The Maharajah was among a large number of foreign heads of state who travelled to England to pay homage to the new king in 1902, but at the last moment the coronation had to be postponed due to the king's appendicitis. The ceremony eventually took place on 9 August, and in the meantime the Maharajah had remained in England with some of his 400 staff, including his jeweller.

The sword hilt and scabbard are set with rose-cut and brilliant-cut stones as well as the 'lasque' (flat, diamonds) more commonly used in Indian jewellery. The diamonds vary in colour from white to yellow and are set in a stylised design of lotus flowers and leaves. Their combined weight is possibly in the region of two thousand carats.