A number of pottery elephants with applied eyes and of similar appearance to the present example are known. The most immediately impressive example is one fomerly in these Rooms (11 October 1988, lot 354) and now in the Khalili Collection (Grube, Ernst J.: Cobalt and Lustre, Oxford., 1994, no.286, p.250-1). The catalogue entry for that example notes "at least ten" other elephant figures, most of which, as here, have monochrome glazes. Unlike the Khalili example and most of the others, the superstructure of the present figure gives it a clear purpose; although whether this was as a lamp or incense burner is less clear. In this respect it relates to a turquoise-glazed figure of a camel in the Berlin Museum whose openwork structure is less restored and which can clearly be seen originally to have had the same purpose (Islamische Kunst in Berlin, Berlin, n.d., (1964), no.451, pl.62).