Marble Throne, Diwan-i-Am, Delhi
Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the marble throne in the Diwan-i-Am of the Red Fort at Delhi from the Curzon Collection, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in the 1890s, from the Curzon Collection: 'Views of places proposed to be visited by Their Excellencies Lord & Lady Curzon during Autumn Tour 1902'. The Diwan-i-Am was the Hall of Public Audience in the Lal Qila, or Red Fort, the palace citadel built in the 1640s by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-1658) in his new capital city, Shajahanabad. The hall was used by the Emperor to make a daily ceremonial appearance during which he heard petitions from his subjects, received visitors and conducted state affairs. The Diwan-i-Am is a red sandstone pavilion, open on three sides, with three aisles of cusped pillared arches once covered with polished white plaster. This view shows the emperor’s throne jarokha or balcony protected by iron railings, situated at the rear of the hall. It is an ornate structure in white marble carved with floral patterns with a curved marble canopy decorated with pietra dura work. In front is a low bench on which ministers sat. On the wall of the niche behind the throne are Italian inlaid pietra dura panels depicting flowers, birds and lions.