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    Sale 12471

    Arts of India

    26 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 96

    A LARGE ENAMELLED AND GEM-SET GOLD COVERED BOWL WITH ASTRONOMICAL FIGURES

    PROBABLY JAIPUR, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1900

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LARGE ENAMELLED AND GEM-SET GOLD COVERED BOWL WITH ASTRONOMICAL FIGURES
    PROBABLY JAIPUR, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1900
    Rising from a short foot through curved sides to a rounded everted rim, the domed lid with a knop finial, the exterior of the lid with depictions of nine goddesses on their steeds set inside cusped arches, the interior with depictions of zodiac signs with talismanic tables set beneath cusped arches, the centre with a plan of the solar system rendered in navratna colours, floral border, the bowl with depictions of nine Planets riding their vehicles, the cavetto with townscapes illustrating various trades, the base with a large rosette, bands of inset gems around the foot, rim, lid and knop
    7¼in. (18.4cm.) diam.; 5½in. (14cm.) high


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    The technique of enamelling onto gold in India has its origins in the opulent Mughal court of the 17th century. This technique gives the enamelled colours a brilliant and rich glow. An early example of enamelling on gold can be found in the Hermitage (inv. V3-726; Mark Zebrowski, Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India, London, 1997, no. 52, p. 71). The intricate figural decoration on our present vessel suggests a later date of production however. The lid is decorated with eleven male deities; its reverse with the Zodiac around a rare diagram of the solar system. The sides of the bowl are decorated with the personification of the seven planets, above a register with lively scenes from an epic. The impressive floral composition on the underside is an excellent example of the technical mastery achieved by Rajasthani goldsmiths. A number of preparatory drawings from Jaipur showing related figural decoration are in the Victoria and Albert Museum and dated to the second half of the 19th century (IS.26-1992 and IS.194-1952). See also S.S. Jacob & T.H. Hendley, Jeypore Enamels, New Delhi, 2008, pl.8 and 9 which illustrate designs from the mid-1880s. Jewellery with Hindu iconography is rare but not unknown as seen for instance on a necklace decorated with Vishnu’s footprint and offered at Christie’s, London, 10 June 2015, lot 48. A gold box with figural enamelled decoration and a cup and saucer, both from Jaipur and related to the present piece, sold at Christie’s, London, 10 April 2014, lot 165 and 157.