Pair of Fly-whisk Handles

Location: India, Rajasthan, probably Jaipur

Materials: silver, partly on a lac core, gilt, enamelled and set with diamonds in gold kundan

Dimensions: height 26.5cm

Accession Number: JLY 1858

Other Notes:

Fly-whisks (or chauri) of peacock feathers, an ancient Indian attribute of royalty, or yak tails were adopted by the Mughals and their tributaries soon after they established themselves in the subcontinent. In enthronement scenes, they are often held by attendants standing behind the emperor.

The outer surface of this pair is decorated with a pavé of table-cut diamonds set on a ground of transparent green enamel, with a fringe of openwork buds and stems at the rim.


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.19, pp.74–5.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.433, p.363.