Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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APPENDIX IV.                        473

is the most costly thing about this magnificent throne is, that the twelve
columns supporting the canopy are surrounded with beautiful rows of
pearls, which are round and of fine water, and weigh from 6 to lO
carats each. At 4 feet distance from the throne there 'are fixed, on
either side, two umbrellas, the sticks of which for 7 or 8 feet in height
are covered with diamonds, rubies, and pearls. The umbrellas are of
red velvet, and are embroidered and fringed all round with pearls.

This is what I have been able to observe regarding this famous
throne, commenced by Tamerlane and completed by Shah Jahan ;
and those who keep the accounts of the King's jewels, and of what this
great work has cost, have assured me that it amounts to one hundred
and seven thousand lakhs of rupees [sic] [i.e. 10,700,000,000), which
amount to one hundred and sixty millions five hundred thousand livres
of our money {i.e. 160,500,000).'

Behind this grand and magnificent throne there is j^laced a smaller
one, which has the form of a bathing tub. It is of an oval shape of
about 7 feet in length and 5 in breadth, and the outside is covered over
with diamonds and pearls, but it has no canopy. — Travels, vol. i. pp.
381, 385-


Note on the Idler to Monseigneur Colbert concerning the
absorption of the precious metals in India.

Numberless writers have treated on the subject of the buried
treasure of India, among others, Tavernier, who in his account of the
Belief of the Idolaters touching the Condition of the Soul of man after
Death, explains the reason for treasure being hoarded as follows :—

' There are some among them who are foolish enough to bury their
treasures during their lifetime, as, for instance, nearly all the rich men
of the kingdom of Assam, so that if they enter, after death, the body
of any poor and miserable mendicant, they can have recourse to the
money which they have buried in order to draw from it at necessity.
This is the reason why so much gold and silver and so many precious
stones are buried in f ndia, and an idolater must be poor indeed if he
has not money buried in the saxth.'^Travels, vol. ii. pp. 204, 205.

All recent authorities agree in stating that within the last fifty years

1 As Dr. V. Ball has pointed o'jt, there appears to be a clerical error here. The
figure should be 107,000,000, namely one thousand and seventy lakhs, which at 5
of a rupee to the livre would be equal to 160,500,000 livres. or .£12.037,500, the
rupee being 2s. 3d. and the livre is. 6d.
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