Piece for the game of chauparOn display
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Chaupar or pachisi, the ancestor of the much simplified English ‘Ludo’, was one of the most popular Indian board games during the Mughal period. The emperor Akbar himself was a devotee and compelled his courtiers to play in tournaments which could last for months. The game was most often played by four players, each racing a set of four coloured pieces around a cruciform board according to the throw of dice. This full set of sixteen pieces is painted with courtly scenes, including princes on horseback and riding elephants, camels or chariots. It was evidently made for a royal court in Rajasthan, possibly Udaipur.
Piece for the game of chaupar
Date2nd half of the 18th century
Material and technique
ivory, carved, with black and gold pigment, and lacquer
Dimensions2.9 cm max. (height)
2.8 cm max. (diameter)
No. of items
Museum locationFirst floor | Gallery 33 | Mughal India
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Glossary of terms
Chinese and Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the lacquer tree, which is indigenous to Eastern China. It is applied to wood as a varnish or for decorative effect. In India and the Middle East, lacquer is made from the deposit of the lac insect.