New Delhi:  A gallery of decorative art showcasing artifacts carved out of ivory, jade and ceramics, shedding light on the craftsmanship of 18th and 19th centuries has been reopened at the National Museum in New Delhi after renovation.
Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch inaugurated the Museum's renovated gallery of Decorative Arts – I on Friday.
Decorative arts relate to the design and decoration of objects of utility. Artifacts of this group are crafted for daily, ceremonial and religious uses from a variety of materials like ivory, jade, ceramic, textile, wood, metal, glass, paper, leather and bone.
The present decorative arts Gallery-I mainly focuses on ivory, jade and ceramics. Each medium is represented by a group of seven or eight showcases to portray the diverse nature of artifacts and the high quality of craftsmanship.
In the Ivory group, boxes, sandals, utilitarian artifacts and images of Hindu and Christian religious figures are the highlights.
The Jade section showcases the utilitarian, while the glazed tiles, blue-white pottery and celadon items in the Ceramic group have been displayed for the first time.
The gallery has two themes, leisure or ancient games and throne story, which have been developed with the help of artifacts made of various materials besides the three main categories, an official statement said.
Dancers, musicians, rattles, gamesman of chess, chaupar and gyan chaupar and tops made of ivory, bone, jade, glass beads, wood and metal are some of the fine examples of leisure and ancient games traditions of India.
The second theme - 'throne story' indicates the evolution of the seat of power. From the low flat seats of antiquity to the modern armed chair, the journey of the throne is a fascinating story.
A huge intricately carved home shrine and some metal Hindu and Jain 'pitikas' (small seats for keeping idols for home shrines) are the amongst the objects of religious importance.      
Two stone thrones and the jewel studded chair with foot rest of the King of Benaras, Uttar Pradesh, along with elegant throne legs are displayed in this section.
Some outstanding pieces have been displayed against the four pillars like ‘meditating Buddha’ inside the lattice case and Dashavatar shrine depicting 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu made of ivory, the silver tray depicting Kaurava's court scene, five-feet elephant tusk carved with life-scenes of Lord Buddha, Jade Surahi, arm rest, Chauri and the Hooqa inscribed with the name of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and white-blue ceramic ware.


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