Looted Fish Pendant from Lucknow
The Highlanders’ Museum

Content warning. Some visitors may find this object upsetting.  

Many museums contain objects that were collected in circumstances not considered acceptable by today’s standards. This silver fish pendant was taken from the tent of Wajid Ali Shah who was the Nawab (ruler) of Awadh in India. It was looted by soldiers of the 79th Regiment after the Fall of Lucknow during the First War of Indian Independence in March, 1858.   

This was a particularly brutal battle which saw both sides commit awful atrocities. It is known today as one of the most notorious massacres in history. The British lost two and a half thousand troops; Indian forces (referred to at the time as ‘rebels’ for disobeying British rule) lost over 30,000.    

Looting is now prohibited by international law. It has never been formally allowed by the British Army, but it was common practice for centuries as a way for victors to increase their fortune and celebrate their conquest. Many museums are working hard to restore looted objects to their original communities, although this process can often take make years.  


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Date: 1858
Materials : Silver, Wood, Glass
Size : 20cm x 15cm

Associated Activities

On Reflection

Memorialising… Remembering Looted Communities



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