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    Sale 7715

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    31 March 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 64

    AN EARLY ISLAMIC HIGH TIN BRONZE EWER

    CENTRAL ASIA, 8TH/9TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    AN EARLY ISLAMIC HIGH TIN BRONZE EWER
    CENTRAL ASIA, 8TH/9TH CENTURY
    Of drop shape with flaring neck rising from a small rounded collar to an everted rim, the straight handle with a moulded interlace grip and an accentuated thumbpiece, the engraved decoration with two large gazelle-like creatures on the main register separated by two cicular medallions each containing similar beasts, with bands of large roundels around the foot, neck and base, each register framed with a line of wavy motifs, the hinged lid with a slightly different patination and probably associated, rubbed
    9 1/8in. (23.2cm.) high


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    The form of this ewer relates closely, the conical mouth flaring from a raised annular collar, to that of unglazed pottery jugs which are attributed to Afghanistan (Ernst J. Grube, Cobalt and Lustre, the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London, 1994, no.345, p.306 for example). Here the mouth is narrower, and the original foot is lacking.

    The decoration has obvious links to Sassanian silver vessels, with the large deer either side. That this formula for iconography also continued through to the Islamic period is shown by vessels such as the very impressive copper-inlaid ewer in the Hermitage (Vladimir Loukonine and Anatoli Ivanov, L'Art Persan, Bournemouth, 1995, no.82, pp.108-9), or a parcel gilt silver bowl (Iran in the Hermitage, exhibition catalogue, St. Petersburg, 2004, no.65, pp.56-57). The drawing of the present vessel is however some way distant from that of the Hermitage examples, and the technique is also different from both. The somewhat stylised drawing of the animal, and in particular the use of borders of roundels are however reminiscent of Central Asian textiles, such as those attributed to Soghdia. A Central Asian origin in the early Islamic period for this very unusual ewer seems most probable.

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    Pre-Lot Text

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