• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7571

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    8 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 41

    A NASRID EBONY AND IVORY INLAID GAMES BOARD

    SPAIN, 15TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A NASRID EBONY AND IVORY INLAID GAMES BOARD
    SPAIN, 15TH CENTURY
    Formed as a box hinged in the centre, the exterior worked as a chessboard with alternating ivory and ebony squares, triangles of geometric flowerheads around the sides, opening to reveal a backgammon board with alternating light and brown wood triangles along each side, the centre of each face with a lozenge of finer mosaic work, 17th century engraved brass lock, later hinges, splitting, slight damage
    20½in. (52cm.) wide


    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

    Both backgammon and chess were popular in the Islamic world and the combined boards of the form found here are known at least from the 14th century onwards. An all-wood non folding example is in Granada (Arte islámico en Granada, exhibition catalogue, Granada, 1995, no.181, p.427). Another much more elaborate example was sold at Sotheby's, 24 October 2007, lot 158. The note to that cites a third example in the Kunsthistorischesmuseum, Vienna. A further particularly elaborate example, which has been attributed to Italy but dating from circa 1500 and showing very considerable Islamic influence, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Islamische Kunst und Kultur aus Osmanischer Zeit, exhibition catalogue, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1985, vol.2, no, p.330).

    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.