• 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 78

    A TINNED COPPER OPENWORK CANDLESTICK

    TIMURID IRAN, 15TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A TINNED COPPER OPENWORK CANDLESTICK
    TIMURID IRAN, 15TH CENTURY
    The base of waisted cylindirical form with angled and flat shoulder, a pronounced boss below tubular neck and waisted cylindrical mouth, the body pierced and engraved with a broad thuluth inscription on a ground of scrolling leafy vine, the mouth similarly decorated, the shoulder and neck with engraved scrolling flowering or interlacing vine, the neck with reciprocal palmettes, minor engraved bands of interlocking s-shapes or vine bordering each of the main registers, intact
    8¾in. (22.4cm.) high


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    The inscription around the mouth reads: al-'izz wa-thafar al-da'im (glory and perpetual triumph).

    The inscription around the body reads: li sahibihi al-sa'ada wa tul al-'umr ma nahat hamama (to his owner, happyness, well-being and lasting life as long as the dove coos).

    A very small number of similar tinned copper examples have been published. Most of them however are not inscribed and the present type of candlestick is even rarer. Three related examples were sold in these Rooms 19 October 1993, lot 385, 29 April 2003, lot 84 and 26 April 2005, lot 182. Two further examples with openwork calligraphic body similar to ours are in the David Collection, Copenhagen, datable to the 15th century, and another, although in cast brass, in the Iran Bastan Museum, datable to the second half of the 15th century (Kjeld von Folsach, Islamic Art in the David Collection, Copenhagen, 2001, no.524, p.326 and A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World, London, 1982, fig. 60).

    A very similar candlestick is in the Keir Collection (Geza Fehervari, Islamic Metalwork of the Eighth to the Fifteenth Century in the Keir Collection, London 1976, no. 100, p.85 and pl.34a). That example is however made of bronze and is dated to the 12th or 13th centuries. The secondary decoration of our example with its engraved elongated arabesques and tapering half-palmettes is not possible in the mediaeval period however. This feature, coupled with the material used, is typical of Persian metalwork of the 15th century.

    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.


    Provenance

    Charles Gillot, Paris, purchased 10 January 1903 for 350Fr.
    Thence by descent until sold in our Paris saleroom, 4 March 2008, lot 12