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Palanquin

Indian

Category

Carriages & other vehicles

Date

circa 1757

Materials

Gilt and painted wood body with silk upholstery.

Measurements

80 x 165 x 94cm (2ft 7 1/2in x 5ft 5in x 3ft 1in)

Place of origin

India

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Collection

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys

On show at

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales, National Trust

NT 1180667

Caption

Having a mattress and plush cushions, palanquins are also known as a travelling couch. They were a luxury item and used by their wealthy owners to recline on whilst giving orders on the battle field!

Summary

Palanquin (litter or travelling couch), built before 1757 in India. Palanquin in carved wood decorated with green lacquer and gilding, caned bottom. The palanquin has a low-sided construction with a cusped headboard, scalloped side rails, scrolled bracket feet, and x-shaped stretchers at each end, The carrying pole is missing.

Full description

Palanquin (litter or travelling couch), built before 1757 in India. Palanquin in carved wood decorated with green lacquer and gilding, caned bottom. The palanquin has a low-sided construction with a cusped headboard, scalloped side rails, scrolled bracket feet, and x-shaped stretchers at each end, The carrying pole is missing. Palanquin built in the mid 18th century in India, captured at the Battle of Palssey. This palanquin is rare for being an open example and therefore ideal for viewing the progress of an engagement. It is not unlike drawings of earlier open and covered palanquins depicted around 1632 in the Portuguese trading city of Goa, South India. More modern seated examples are to be found in the collection of Mehranajh Fort, Jodhpur, India. Not all palanquins were built in India, there are at least two enclosed examples that were built in Westminster by the Sedan Chair Royal Warrant holder and exported as gifts to Nawabs in the late 18th century.

Provenance

Believed to have been abandoned at the battlefield at Plassey by Siraj ad-duula in 1757. Brought from Bengal by Robert Clive (1725-1774). Listed in 1774 inventory. Brought to Powis Castle from Walcot Hall in 1930. Accepted by HM Treasury on 21st March, 1963 in lieu of tax and conveyed to National Trust ownership on 29th November 1963.

Makers and roles

Indian , builder

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