Ceremonial mace (chob), wood overlaid with mother of pearl, Mughal, ca. 1600.
Ceremonial mace (chub), wood overlaid with mother of pearl secured with brass pins, with copper handle and finial.
Paintings in miniature and chronicles of the Mughal court reveal that ceremonial maces were often richly ornamented and made of luxurious materials, this piece being a rare surviving example. The mother-of-pearl decoration on its surface relates closely to a tomb canopy erected (before 1610) over the mausoleum of Shaykh Salim Chisti at Fatehpur Sikri. In style and technique the application of mother-of-pearl plaques over a wooden carcase is typical of a vast group of objects made in workshops in western India's Gujarat region. These objects were for local consumption as well as for export to Ottoman Turkey, the Middle East and Europe. This piece was either made in Gujarat or executed by Gujarati craftsmen working at the Mughal court.
Location: South Asia, room 41, case 16