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Rosie Llewellyn-Jones.Indian Treasures in a Scottish Country House

During the winter of 2010–11, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art mounted an exhibition based on treasures from ‘India’s Fabled City’ of Lucknow, a former kingdom in the north of the country (now in the state of Uttar Pradesh). The items on show were varied and handsome: paintings, photographs, jewellery, jade, glassware, pistols, embroideries, silver, costumes and crowns, all from one place and all produced under its wealthy Muslim rulers during a short but intensely creative period between 1775 and 1856. Lucknow was the capital of Awadh (also Oude or Oudh), a former province of the Mughal empire (1526–1857). Awadh became an independent state under its ruling nawab wazirs, and then a kingdom, before it was annexed by the East India Company in February 1856 in its last land-grabbing exercise before the shock of the Indian Mutiny, which started in May 1857 (Fig. 1).

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November/December 2020
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