29 November 2000
An Important Antique Gold, Blister Pearl And Jewelled Centaur in the Renaissance style
The centaur's head boldly chased and his trunk consisting of an enormous blister pearl (3426 grains/856.74 carats) to the enamelled, diamond and gem-set belt, armbands and collar, the horse's saddle also polychrome enamelled with the pommel as a raised cushion-shaped ruby, the ebony base applied at intervals with enamel and gem-set cartouches, attributed to Reinhold Vasters, Aachen, circa 1860, total height 21.4 cm
With certificate 966003 dated 7th July 2000 from the London Precious Stone Laboratory stating that the blister pearl is natural with no evidence of staining
Other large blister pearls:
1. The Hope Pearl weighs approximately 1800 grains/450 carats.
B. Herz, Catalogue of the Collection of Pearls and Precious Stones formed by Henry Phillip Hope, London, 1839, page 3, illustated plate 1
2. The Pearl of Asia is approximately 2400 grains/600 carats.
In 'The Glory of the Goldsmith: Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, Christie's, 1989, no.219, it is stated that this is reputedly the largest blister pearl in the world and was given to Shah Jahan (1628-1658) to his wife.
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