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Dec 14, 2015

Elephant with golden howdah, Baroda - 1890

Elephant with golden howdah, Baroda - 1890

Photograph of an elephant with a golden ambari at Baroda in Gujarat, from the Lee-Warner Collection: 'Baroda views and buildings, c.1890' taken by an unknown photographer. The elephant was one of about 55 state elephants owned by the Gaekwar Sayaji Rao III (r.1875-1939), 12th Maharaja of Baroda. They were used in ceremonial processions and were granted to high officials as a mark of royal favour. In this side view, the elephant is shown caparisoned in cloth of gold and bears on its back the ambari, a throne or state howdah made of gold which only the largest and strongest elephants could support.