Edward VII Indian treasures exhibition arrives in Edinburgh

A collection of treasures presented to the future Edward VII during a four month visit to India in the late 1800s is on display at the royal residence of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh until April.

Titled Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-76, the exhibition features everything from crowns to cabinets.

 Lucknow crown royal

This crown was made for Edward in the Indian city of Lucknow

Historian Andrew Graham Dixon, who is working on a TV series about the Royal Collection, says: “...what I had never quite realised was just how great the Royal Collection is as a repository of the decorative arts.

“Almost every object you pass, in Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace, is either the finest, or one of the finest, of its kind...

“So rich is the Royal Collection in the field of the applied and decorative arts that many of its treasures are kept in store, periodically to be rediscovered and re-appreciated through the efforts of the curatorial staff.”

That’s exactly the case here.

One of the most impressive pieces is an elaborate crown created for the future king in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.

Elaborate detailing is picked out in silver thread (a technique known as zardozi) and ornamented with gold, diamond and pearl.

It’s just one of hundreds of items in the exhibition that showcase the unparalleled skill of Indian craftsmen and women.

The collection was originally shown at the India Museum in London on Edward’s return in 1876 and later embarked on a tour of the UK.

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