Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/503

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NOTES ON ASIATIC MUSEUMS

Jaipur

Jaipur may be mentioned, finally, as furnishing the best type of a museum supported by a native prince—in the present case by the reigning maharajah, Sir Sawdi Madho Singh. It is an imposing monument to this ruler's modernness, and it has already borne interesting fruit in developing and bettering the many art-industries of Jaipur.

The building is by no means a small one—at least two hundred feet in length. It stands in the public gardens, an elaborate structure in Indo-Saracenic style, with shaded balconies and corridors, and with numerous courtyards cooled by plants and fountains. Fig. 16. Its scientific collection is small, limited to models and specimens of minor interest. But in modern and semi-modern art objects, in metal, stone, wood or textile, the present museum is, I believe, unsurpassed. Especially beautiful are the examples of metal work. Fig. 15, many of which are the family treasures of the maharajah—gun-metal and silver bidri work, damaskeens from Kashmir, silver repoussé from Trichinopoly and Ceylon, articulated objects in silver from Bengal, silver figures from Mathura, enamels in gold from Jaipur, in silver from Multan, brasses numberless, and a bewildering series of jewelry from all parts of India. Nowhere can one receive a more illuminating impression of the decorative possibilities in native art. An excellent reference, by the way, is the beautifully illustrated handbook of the museum prepared by its honorary secretary. Colonel Hendley (1895).