The Throne of the Great Mogul in Dresden


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience:

The Ultimate Artwork of the Baroque

Dror Wahrman

View Inside Format: Hardcover
Price: $40.00
YUPComing Soon
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

A masterful deciphering of an extraordinary art object, illuminating some of the biggest questions of the eighteenth century

The Throne of the Great Mogul (1701–8) is a unique work of European decorative art: an intricate miniature of the court of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb depicted during the emperor’s birthday celebrations. It was created by the jeweler Johann Melchior Dinglinger in Dresden and purchased by the Saxon prince Augustus the Strong for an enormous sum. Constructed like a theatrical set made of gold, silver, thousands of gemstones, and amazing enamel work, it consists of 164 pieces that together tell a detailed story.

Why did Dinglinger invest so much time and effort in making this piece? Why did Augustus, in the midst of a political and financial crisis, purchase it? And why did the jeweler secrete in it messages wholly unrelated to the prince or to the Great Mogul? In answering these questions, Dror Wahrman, while shifting scales from microhistory to global history, opens a window onto major historical themes of the period: the nature of European absolutism, the princely politics of the Holy Roman Empire, the changing meaning of art in the West, the surprising emergence of a cross-continental lexicon of rulership shared across the Eastern Hemisphere, and the enactment in jewels and gold of quirky contemporary theories about the global history of religion.

Dror Wahrman holds the Vigevani Chair in European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is president of the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo. He is the author of The Making of the Modern Self and Mr. Collier’s Letter Racks: A Tale of Art and Illusion at the Threshold of the Modern Information Age and coauthor of Invisible Hands: Self Organization and the Eighteenth Century. He lives in Jaffa, Israel.

“This book is truly compelling. In its rethinking of a singular object, Wahrman manages to write a startlingly new history of court culture, consumption, representation, the material, the Baroque . . . and Dresden. I loved it.”—Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes

“Wahrman takes us on brilliant and enthralling tour of late seventeenth-century European culture. This deftly crafted book takes the artisanal productions of that age as its best portraits, and always to the reader’s delight.”—Timothy Brook, author of Vermeer’s Hat

“Wahrman deciphers a truly unique, incredibly puzzling work of art and uses it as a key to the universe of baroque culture. A masterpiece of refined scholarship, elegantly written, full of subtle interpretations and surprising insights.”—Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute for Advanced Study

“Departing from a painstaking and elegant study of a single Saxon masterpiece, Dror Wahrman’s book offers us a breakthrough model for writing the history of eighteenth-century material culture in a transnational perspective.”—Suzanne Marchand, author of Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe
ISBN: 9780300251937
Publication Date: April 25, 2023
376 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
48 color + 28 b/w illus.
The Making of the Modern Self

Identity and Culture in Eighteenth-Century England

Dror Wahrman

View details