Lot 188. A Mughal gem-set ivory horse-head hilt, India, 17th century. Estimate 18,000 — 25,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's.
the carved ivory hilt of horse-head form with flowing, plaited mane to one side, eyes set in the kundan technique with rubies, inset turquoise stone at conjunction of bridle and mane, finely carved floral design on punched ground to base - 13.4cm.
Note: This sensitively carved horse-head hilt belongs to a group of carved ivory horse-head daggers which share a similar design distinguished by the fine plaiting of the mane, gem-set details, such as ruby eyes and turquoise mounts along the mane, and a finely carved floral motif on a punched ground near the edge. A comparable example was offered for sale at Sotheby's, 20 April 2016, lot 136, and another is illustrated in Hales 2013, p.39, no.88.
Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World, London, 26 Apr 2017, 10:30 AM