Turban Crown

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Materials: diamonds, natural pearls, foiled rubies (genuine and synthetic) and emeralds, green glass; gold, enamelled gold and silver mounts, gold thread and silver strips; core of wood or papier-mâché covered with maroon velvet; interior lined with linen, re-covered more recently with quilted cotton

Dimensions: 18 x 23 x 24cm

Accession Number: JLY 1071

Other Notes:

The combination of turban and crown symbolized the bond between religious and secular leadership in the Muslim world, especially on the Indian sub-continent, where the Mughal emperors and their princely vassals boasted of a long tradition of jewelled turbans. The present crown is similar to that worn by Sir Jang Bahadur, prime minister and commander-in-chief of Nepal from 1856 to 1877, and to others subsequently worn by the ruling family of the kingdom.


P. Moura Carvalho, Gems and Jewels of Mughal India. Jewelled and enamelled objects from the 16th to 20th centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVIII, London 2010, cat.68, pp.146–7.

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.452, pp.374–5.