Coronation Durbar, 1911
Two ceremonial trowels, silver-gilt, inlaid with semi-precious stones, engraved 'With this trowel the Foundation Stone of New Delhi was laid by His Majesty King George V [Her Majesty Queen Mary] Dec. 15.1911'. approximately 38 x 11cm.
[and] Two ceremonial hammers, ivory, engraved. 'Used by H.M. King George V [H.M. Queen Mary] Dec. 15.1911', approximately 21 x 9cm.
The foundation stones of New Delhi were originally laid on the site of the Durbar, immediately to the north of the Old City of Delhi; the new capital was eventually laid out on a more spacious site to the south of Old Delhi.
'During their stay in the camp the King and Queen expressed to me their wish to lay the foundation-stones of the new capital of India. The proposal presented considerable difficulty since it was then an open question as to where the site of the new city would really be found. Still, I was of opinion that it was very desirable that such a ceremony should be associated with the King and Queen even if it proved necessary to move later the stones elsewhere to where the new city would be built, as was eventually done ... [A] year afterwards I had these stones quietly removed and placed in an honoured position in the secretariat building in the new city' (Lord Hardinge of Penshurst, My Indian Years). (4)