late 18th century
gold on a lac core, enamelled and set with rubies, emeralds, and blue and yellow sapphires in gold kundan
1.6 x 2.2cm
Pieces for the board game of pachisi, ‘the national game of India’, come in a variety of shapes and materials, including wood, lacquer, ivory and more precious materials such as gold set with gems. Each of the four players plays with a group of four pieces, differentiated here by the colours of the stones: red, green, blue and yellow. Gaming pieces of this type were also used for other board games such as chaupur and chausar, which are chiefly played with oblong dice on a cross-shaped board.
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.28, p.83. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.432, pp.362–3.