Johann Melchior Dinglinger

A few day ago I was given a beautiful book on golden juwelry and objects made throughout the centuries. In it I found a picture of a stunning piece made by the Dresden court jeweller Johann Melchior Dinglinger and his two brothers. The piece, made in 1701-1708, is called 'The Birthday of the Grand Mogul Aurangzeb'. It measures 58 x 142 x 114 cm and has, amongst other jewels, 4909 diamonds set into the piece.

Image source:

Apart from the obvious attraction of exquisite workmanship in gold, silver, enamel and jewels (what girl can resist that), the piece has many delightful scenes which make up a whole story. The detail is fabulous. The picture above shows one of the elephants frome the scene. Just look at all the detail! I love the little monkeys trying to get away.

In the image below you can see the Grand Mogul himself, sitting on his throne in all his splendour.


  1. Amazing! He had quite a silly last name to live down:)

  2. Haha! I had to look it up, but that is very funny!

  3. Wow, Josje. It is truly amazing! I wanted a book called "Treasures of the Maharajah" but it is very expensive online. I have seen it in India and will buy it on my next trip. Wanted it for research on my palace because it featured many of these "trinkets" and "toys" for the Maharajahs. What is the name of this book?

    Aurangzeb is indeed a strange name. It is apparently Persian and means "honouring the throne". Maybe the meaning was derived after him?

    It is ironical isn't it that this is the emperor who's said to destroy art (disputed) and then he has this beautiful piece commissioned in his name?

  4. Sans, I think Marie meant Dinglinger's last name. Check out the definition of 'dingaling' on Urban Dictionary:
    But it is interesting to know what Aurangzeb means! In both cases I had no idea.

    This piece is located in the Neues Grünes Gewölbe in Dresden, Germany. Maybe a destination for your next vacation in Europe? See this link:

    The book I have is an older Dutch book and has only one two page picture of the piece with a small description. The original German book was called: 'Gold' by Johann Willsberger, 1976. I found the English version for you here:

    These books about the piece may be of interest to you:

    The piece was not commisioned by the emperor: *"The Birthday of the Grand Mogul Aurangzeb", .... which Dinglinger commenced without a specific commission, and sold to the delighted Elector for a spectacular 55,485 thaler." (
    The elector being the elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong, who was a patron of the arts and architecture.

    Hope this helps you with your research Sans!

  5. Fabulous. Love the picture of the Elephant..

  6. Me parece fantastico tu blog.

  7. I'm speechless! Those are simply AMAZING!
    Thank you for sharing!:)

  8. Isn't it just, Debbie!

    Thank you Loyte! I saw on your blog you've done some pretty amazing sculpts...did you ever do 12th scale?

    You're welcome D!

  9. Thank you so much for your response to my paper clay query on my blog!


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