In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Hindustan, I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing and links. This mid-Victorian reference work has substantial sections on both India and Hindustan, and it is not always clear how Victorians distinguished between the two. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851 or 1852. This discussion of British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

Trichinopoly is noted for the manufacture of gold chains of exquisite workmanship; and at several places, on the west side of the peninsula, carnelians, blood stone, and other products of the same character, which are abundantly found in that region, are, as already stated, cut and polished in superior style.

Diamond Necklace for a Prince (kanthi) Punch Dagger (katar) Turban Ornament

Examples of South Asian Jewelry from a Recent Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Left: Mid- to late-nineteenth-century Diamond Necklace for a Prince (kanthi). Middle: Punch Dagger (katar) c. 1680-1720. Right: Mid-nineteenth-century Turban Ornament in gold and diamonds (Sarpesh). Images: © Servette Overseas Limited 2013. All rights reserved. Click on images to enlarge them.

In filigree work, and stone, wood, and ivory carving, pottery, and engraving on gems, the Hindoos are highly respectable artizans; and the beauty, brilliancy, and durability of their dyes, were as celebrated among the Greeks and Romans as they are at the present day madder, indigo, lac, turmeric, sappan, &c., dyeing mate rials of the first importance, being native products.

Left: Indian Art Objects at the Great Exhibition. Right: The India Gallery. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

Numerous manufactures, calculated to give a high idea of Indian ingenuity and taste, appeared at the Great Exhibition in London, in 1851. Amongst these were various articles in agate from Bombay, mirrors from Lahore, marble chairs from Ajmeer, kincobs from Benares, embroidered silk shawls and scarfs, carpets from Bangalore, and a variety of articles in iron, inlaid with silver.


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.

Last modified 11 December 2018