• 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 136

    A GOLD-DAMASCENED AND ENGRAVED STEEL KASHKUL

    BY [HAJJI] 'ABBAS, QAJAR IRAN, DATED AH 1271/1854-55 AD

    Price Realised  

    A GOLD-DAMASCENED AND ENGRAVED STEEL KASHKUL
    BY [HAJJI] 'ABBAS, QAJAR IRAN, DATED AH 1271/1854-55 AD
    Of typical coco-de-mer form, the upper surface densely engraved with floral sprays with the figures of two dervishes smoking nargileh around an upper cartouche with inscription and date, the underside cartouche with five figures around a dervish in a garden, a band of inscription cartouches around the waist in gold damascened surrounds, hanging loop at each end with metal chain, areas of rubbing and slight surface oxidation
    8in. (20.2cm) 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

    The poetic inscription around the bowl contains Persian verses in praise of the kashkul, also found on other examples by Hajji 'Abbas, the steel maker of Isfahan. The inscription also includes a verse from the Gulestan of Sa'di.

    A very closely related kashkul, also signed by Hajji Abbas and with a similar decorative repertoire is in the Tanavoli Collection (James W. Allan and Brian Gilmour, Persian Steel, The Tanavoli Collection, Oxford, 2000, p. 318). Allan there cites a number of parallels which include one in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, originally dated AH 1207 (1792-3 AD). That has more recently been published as dating from the late 19th century (Iran in the Hermitage, exhibition catalogue (in Russian), St. Petersburg, 2004, no.147, p.130). Another related example is in the Museum of the Gulestan Palace, Tehran (Arthur Upham Pope, A Survey of Persian Art, London, 1938, p.1394D). Another is in the Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow, which is dated AH 1296 (1879-80 AD). One sold in these Rooms, 9 October 1990, lot 119. That was dated AH 1325 (1902-03 AD). Our example is dated AH 1271/1854-55 AD and is thus Hajji Abbas' earliest published work. The wide time span, between the kashkul sold in 1990 and the present one may suggest that Hajji Abbas in fact refers not to an individual but to a workshop. It is likely, from the early date, that this is the work of the master himself, but some of the later examples may be the product of a younger relative or colleague.

    For a full discussion on the kashkul and the origin of its form please see A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, 'From the Royal Boat to the Beggar's Bowl', Islamic Art, Vol. IV, 1991, pp.3-111).

    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.