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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 06:38 GMT 07:38 UK
Indian treasures loaned to castle
An opium pipe (picture: the National Trust)
An opium smoking pipe has been loaned to the Clive museum
The family of British colonial general Clive of India have loaned more of his treasures to a Powys museum to help celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Some of the 10 artefacts donated by Lord Robert Clive's relations have never been on public display before.

Among the riches on show at the Clive of India Museum at Powis Castle, in Welshpool, is a silver opium smoking pipe set with rubies and diamonds.

The castle already boasts 300 of Lord Clive's Indian artefacts.

Clive was the son of a Shropshire squire and became a soldier, adventurer and a key figure in British India.

In 1757, his army won the Battle of Plassey against the Nawab of Bengal, which signalled Britain's control over the country.

Robert Clive (picture: the National Trust)
Clive of India committed suicide in 1774 after amassing a huge fortune

His son later married into the Herbert family who once owned Powis Castle. It is now run by the National Trust.

Margaret Gray, of Powis Castle, said: "This September will mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Clive Museum, so the additions are an excellent way of celebrating.

"They are incredible pieces, necessities to any Indian nobleman during the 18th Century, adding to the exotica of this collection."

Other items on loan include a steel elephant goad - a prod used to guide the animals - and two ceremonial staffs with ivory shafts, topped with a tiger's head.

The Powis Castle museum was opened in 1987 by Countess Mountbatten of Burma.




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