23rd November 2015: Colonial knowledge production; Margaret Tytler’s collection of Indian models 1815-1821

Margaret Tytler (1785-1822), born in the county of Angus, spent her adult life in northern India. Living in Patna and Tirhut, she became particularly interested in local crafts and agriculture and commissioned at least three sets of scale models documenting the tools and machines she saw in use during the early 19th century.

cultural artifact

One of these sets has been preserved at National Museums Scotland. Executed in highly polished ebony, the models are a unique source of historical and ethnographical knowledge of India during this period. They are testimony not only to Indian craftsmanship but to a Scottish woman’s passion to understand and record the culture in which she lived.

This event contributes to the project entitled ‘The Scottish-Indian Continuum of Ideas: The Relevance of Tagore and his Circle’ at The Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies, Edinburgh Napier University, funded by UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).


Join us for a talk 1:30pm – 2:30pm by Friederike Voigt, Senior Curator Middle East and South Asia, celebrating two hundred years since the creation of Margaret Tytler’s models.