The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Mace of office
  • Mace of office
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Deccan, India
  • late 18th century
  • Silver, gold, garnets and stone
  • Length: 77.3 cm
    Weight: 2.7 kg
  • OA1760
  • Oriental Armoury
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This beautifully-wrought silver-gilt tiger-headed mace, one of a pair, was intended not as a weapon but was employed purely for processional use, being carried by harbingers to herald the imminent approach of a prince, nobleman or important official. The tiger’s eyes are made of garnets and a green stone is mounted in the centre of the forehead. Although appearing to be of massive and deadly weight, such maces were usually hollow, made out of thin sheet-silver, embossed, chased, engraved and parcel-gilt. The hollow shell was filled with pitch, or a similar substance, to confer a degree of strength and rigidity. Similar examples bearing different animal’s heads (horses, bulls or elephants, for example) are also known.