Steel Ruler Inlaid with Silver, Brass & Copper
India, probably Lucknow
length: 30.5cm, width: 2.5cm, weight: 195g
This splendid and very unusual ruler is copiously inlaid with silver and some brass and copper. The topside is inlaid with scrolling silver flower and foliage motifs within cross-hatched borders, and graduations in inches, with the numbers in inlaid brass. The centres of the flowers are inlaid with copper.
The reverse of the ruler is decorated with similar scrolling floral deigns and with a large fish at each end.
Typically, fish motifs of this form lead to such items being attributed to Lucknow, where the fish was part of the emblem of the Nawabs or Oudh.
Quite possibly, the ruler was made for a young prince of the Oudh royal house, to be used whilst completing his homework!
Markel, S. et al, India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow, LACMA/DelMonico Books, 2010.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1352
to see another princely Lucknow item.