Interior of the Dewan-i-Khass, King's Palace [sic. Diwan-i Khas, Hall of Private Audience], Delhi
Photographer: Bourne, Samuel (1834-1912)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of the Diwan-i Khas in the Red Fort at Delhi from the Lee-Warner Collection, taken by Samuel Bourne in the 1860s. The Red Fort was built between 1639 and 1648 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658) as the citadel of his new capital city, Shajahanabad. The Diwan-i Khas was reserved for private viewings with the emperor and was the venue for meetings with courtiers, members of government and foreign dignitaries and ambassadors. The pillars are faced in dressed white marble inlaid with coloured gemstones in stylised floral motifs. The famous Peacock Throne, made of gold and gemstones, once stood at the centre of the hall. An inscription written in gold over the top of two outer arches reads: "If there is a Paradise on the face of this earth, It is this, Oh, it is this, Oh, it is this." The photograph is from an album containing mainly architectural and topographical views of sites throughout Western and Northern India, including a number of E.D. Lyon's views of Ahmadabad. The album was formerly in the collection of Sir William Lee-Warner (1846-1912), who served in the Indian Civil Service and was a Member of the Council of India between 1902 and 1912.