Samuel Swinton JacobAlbert Hall Museum Jaipur


Major Samuel Swinton Jacob, a British Military engineer became Director of the newly established Jaipur PWD in 1867 and spent the rest of his 35 year career in Jaipur, contributing substantially to architectural activities of the time. The first building he designed was the Mayo Hospital (which today houses the Zanana Hospital). The architectural style adopted was Indo-Saracenic. He also contributed his skills to designing a boarding house for Jaipur pupils at Mayo College, Ajmer.

Following the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1876, the task of designing and building Albert Hall fell on young Jacob's shoulders assisted by his Chief overseer Tujumul Hoosein, the artist Ram Baksh and two draughts men Shankar Lal and Chote Lal. The principal masons were Chander and Tara. Jacob's staff were sent to study Mughal monuments at Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri to be inspired in producing fresh designs for Albert Hall. While the general design for Albert Hall was Jacob's, the detailed designs, which were required to represent local art, were acknowledged those of the individual craftsmen and masons who left their signatures on each of the columns in the courtyards.

Jacob was also assigned to build a new administrative building in Jaleb Chowk called Naya Mahal (now the old Vidhan Sabha building). It was an experimental design with a series of European neo-classical niches with triangular and semi-circular pediments with urns at the apex.

On the floors above, decorative Indian arches framed the windows.

Jacob also contributed designs for the cenotaph (chhatri)of Maharaja Ram Singh and one of these was finally approved.

Jacob became royal interpreter during the visit of Maharaj Madho Singh to London to attend the coronation of Edward VII in 1902.

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Last Updated on 15 - 09 - 2018

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