A rare Mughal mould-blown glass spittoon (Pikdan), India, early 18th century. Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's

the colourless glass body of squat globular form with a wide flanged rim, the exterior body moulded with vertical ribs - 27.7cm. diam. 10.3cm. height - Estimate : 20,000—30,000 GBP

NOTE: Glass spittoons are extremely rare and would have been highly prized by the Mughal court. This piece is an example from the first half of the eighteenth century with its globular base and large splayed upper section. A spittoon of similar form and date is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see Dikshit 1969 plate XXXA). This magnificent piece is decorated and gilded with a floral diaper pattern and like the present example would have been regarded as a luxury item within the Mughal court. From the mid-eighteenth century the bulbous bowl and flanged rim gave way to a double bell-shaped form, as seen in an example in the al-Sabah Collection (see Carboni 2001, cat. no. 105).

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World. 08 Oct 08 10:00 AM. London - www.sothebys.com