erez4

erez5

A gem-set gold pendant in the form of a bird, probably Deccan or Southern India, 17th-18th Century. Photo Bonhams

depicted with open wings, the back engraved with naturalistic feather details, set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, holding a pearl in each claw, a row of pearl suspensions on the tail, the upper wings with suspension loops: 7.5 cm. high (excl. pearls). Estimate: £30,000 - 50,000

Provenance: English private collection.

A larger and probably later variation of the previous lot and sharing the same iconography, a number of features on the present lot suggest a Western influence: the claws hold quite large pearls in a manner reminiscent of the claw setting used in Europe from the Medieval period and otherwise unseen in a Mughal/ Indian context; and the heraldic stance of the bird recalls Medieval and Renaissance bird pendants, usually in the form of eagles, favoured by princely families of Europe and particularly popular in Spain. For a European eagle pendant of c. 1600 in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, see Somers-Cocks, Anna and Charles Truman, Renaissance jewels, gold boxes and objets de vertu, London, 1984, pp. 124-5.

A similar pendant can be seen in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection, with attribution to the 17th Century Deccan or Southern India (Moura Carvalho, Pedro, Gems and Jewels of Mughal India, London, 2010, pp. 76-7); another in the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, with probably attribution to the Deccan in the later 16th/ 1st quarter of 17th Century (Keene, Manuel and Sue Kaoukji, Treasury of the World, London, 2001, p. 108, no. 8.38); and another in the Musee Guimet, Paris, attributed to Mughal India in the 17th Century (inv. no. MA 6768, illustrated in Okada, A., L'Inde des princes. La donation Jean et Krishna Riboud, Paris, 2002, p. 147).

For a full discussion of birds of this type, see Moura Carvalho 2010, pp. 76-7.

Bonhams. Islamic and Indian Art, 4 Oct 2011, New Bond Street www.bonhams.com