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Legacies

The Prince arrived home on 10 May 1876 and within a month, the gifts were on view at the Indian Museum, South Kensington. In the first week of the exhibition more than 30,000 people visited the museum to see the gifts.

The exhibition generated £3,000, equivalent to over £300,000 in today's currency. This money, at the request of the Prince of Wales, was used by the museum to purchase objects from India to expand its own collection.

The popularity of the gifts encouraged British firms to produce objects inspired by Indian design, and shops, such as Liberty of London, to stock textiles and other works of art from India

After the South Kensington exhibition, the gifts were shown at seven other locations from 1876 to 1883 – Bethnal Green, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, York, Nottingham and Penzance and two European capitals, Paris and Copenhagen

Engraving of an exhibition from a Newspaper

The Prince's Exhibition in Paris, from the Illustrated London News ©

The Scottish Legacy

In Edinburgh the gifts were displayed at the Museum of Science and Art (now the National Museum of Scotland), from March to October 1879 and were seen by 460,000 people.

From October 1879 to July 1880, the gifts were displayed in Glasgow at the Corporation Galleries of Art (now the McLellan Galleries) and were seen by 209,000 people.

In Aberdeen the gifts were displayed at the Town and County Hall from October 1880 to January 1881 and were seen by 43,000 people. Funds generated from the entrance fees were used towards the construction of Aberdeen Art Gallery

The Great North of Scotland Railway issued special fares to give those from Elgin, Keith, Huntly, Ballater, Aboyne and Banchory the opportunity to see the gifts in Aberdeen.

Between 1876 and 1883, a total of 2.5 million people visited the exhibitions in Britain.

Ibrahim (active 1877)

Dagger and scabbard

Indian

Sash