A Maharaja's silvered and partially gilt copper ceremonial mace of office (Soonta / Souta), South India, 19th century
A Maharaja's silvered and partially gilt copper ceremonial mace of office (Soonta / Souta), South India, 19th century. The bulbous finial cast in the form of a ferocious mythical 'Yali' lion's head with engraved and chased details leads to a curved, fluted section enclosed by engraved bands of repeated C scroll and acanthus decoration and terminates with a long tapering, cylindrical section with a detachable tip incorporated with a suspension ring. The cylindrical section is applied with a later engraved inscription reading 'Sir Arthur Rowland Knapp. KCIE, CSI, CIE. Member of Council, Fort St. George, 1922.' 26.4 in (67 cm) length. Provenance: Sir Arthur Knapp (1870 - 1954) served as the Revenue Member of The Executive Council of the Governor of Madras from the years 1923 to 1926. The council of Fort Saint George also known as the Council of the Madras Presidency and the Council of the Governor of Madras was an administrative subdivision of British India. At its peak, the Council ruled over much of Southern India. This mace would have been carried by an attendant as part of the biruthus regalia of an Indian maharaja. The attendant would have typically walked beside or behind the maharaja holding the mace aloft.
Auction Date: May 2017