• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7751

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    6 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 276

    AN INDO-PORTUGUESE IVORY-INLAID CASKET

    GUJARAT OR SINDH, 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    AN INDO-PORTUGUESE IVORY-INLAID CASKET
    GUJARAT OR SINDH, 17TH CENTURY
    Of rectangular form with hinged drop front, the top and three main sides decorated with marquetry panels, each with a composition centered around a tree with confronted lions and symmetrical prey, the top and front with larger composition including smaller trees, peacocks and simurghs with preys and figures at each corner, the reverse of the front with three trees and perched birds, the drawers with floral sprays, with two handles, later applied keyhole panel, losses, areas of restoration, one drawer panel a later replacement
    13 7/8 x 21 x 14 7/8in. (35.3 x 53.5 x 38cm.)


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    Cabinets with a similar decorative composition are commonly attributed to Gujarat or Sindh, notably on the basis of contemporary accounts from European travellers to India. According to the Dutch merchant Francisco Pelsaerts, Tatta, Sindh, was in 1626 a centre of manufacture for 'ornamental desks, writing cases [] very prettily inlaid with ivory and ebony' and Surat, Gujarat, according to James Ovington was a source of 'Desks, Sutores and Boxes neatly polisht and embellisht' in the late 1680's (Amin Jaffer, Luxury Goods from India, London, 2002, p. 18.) A comparable cabinet is in the Victoria and Albert Museum datable to the early 17th century (op. cit., p.44).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.