• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7843

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    13 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 234

    AN OTTOMAN INSET SILVER-GILT BELT BUCKLE

    TURKEY, SECOND HALF 17TH/EARLY 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN OTTOMAN INSET SILVER-GILT BELT BUCKLE
    TURKEY, SECOND HALF 17TH/EARLY 18TH CENTURY
    With domed central boss heavily set with glass panels and bands of green or pink floral enamelling arranged in concentric bands around a central palmette, the top with plumed crest, each side of the roundel with rectangular panels terminating in gentle cusping and worked with openwork floral designs scrolling around a central applied foliate knop issuing palmette, with belt fittings behind
    10½in. (26.8cm.) long


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Very similar panels to the applied tulip-shaped ones on each of the side elements of this belt buckle are found adorning a yoke in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (Julian Raby, The Tsars and the East, exhibition catalogue, Washington D.C., 2009, no.61, pp. 119-121). The yoke is composed using preserved elements of costly materials that were most probably in the Tsar's treasury, bought there as diplomatic gifts. They are thus dated to the 17th century, providing us with a probable date for this buckle. The form further substantiates the proposed dating as another buckle, very close in shape and with similar date is published in Turkish Kunst und Kultur aus osmanischer Zeit, Frankfurt, 1985, cat., p.308.

    Neither of the above examples is, however, enamelled. Although enamelling very much lends itself to the Ottoman aesthetic which was developing in the 16th century for bold colour - surprisingly this belt buckle presents a rare example of early Ottoman enamel work (Esin Atil, The Age of Süleyman the Magnificent, New York, 1988, p. 118). That is of course not to say that it is unknown. A writing set in the Hermitage, which was in the inventory of Tsar Fedor Alexevich by 1682, and attributed circa 1660-70, shares a taste for the bright green enamelling found here. The red enamelling here in the minor borders of the present buckle is slightly more complex in design and shows a move towards the more colourful and intricate enamels of the 18th and 19th centuries, perhaps indicating a slightly later date on the present belt buckle.

    A very similar belt buckle was sold at Sotheby's, 24 October 2007, lot 269. More recently the central round element of a buckle also sold there, 8 October 2008, lot 267. Two further examples are said to be in the Topkapi Saray and the Benaki Museums.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.