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    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 262

    A PAIR OF MOTHER-OF-PEARL POWDER HORNS

    GUJARAT, INDIA, 17TH/18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF MOTHER-OF-PEARL POWDER HORNS
    GUJARAT, INDIA, 17TH/18TH CENTURY
    The turbo shell bodies with registers around the top composed of applied mother-of-pearl forming an arcaded design, the tops with rosette motif leading to knop finials with silver stoppers attached to the body with a chain, one with belt attachment loop on the body, some losses and damages
    Largest 7½in. (19.2cm.) (2)


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    One of the most prized exotic materials to feature in the princely Kunstkammern were the shells of the turbo snails. Found in the Indian and Pacific oceans, the natural shiny and iridescent surface of the shells made a vivid impression on 16th and 17th century collectors as these were truly objects from another world. They were highly prized in the west so that they were mounted up in silver and silver gilt, sometimes very elaborately, to create "nautilus cups". Even through until the early 19th century sales of exotic sea shells were a regular section of the auctions held by James Christie and his successors.

    A number of similar powder horns were produced. Two, for example, were exhibited in London (Simon Ray, Indian and Islamic Works of Art, exhibition catalogue, London, 2006, no.57, pp.120-121).

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