Lot 154. A Moroccan diamond and emerald-set gold double-headed eagle, Morocco, second half 19th-early 20th century; 3 ½in. (9cm.) across. Estimate GBP 10,000 - GBP 15,000 (USD 14,030 - USD 21,045). © Christie's Images Ltd 2018
The double-headed eagle worked in repoussé and filigree, set with rose-cut diamonds, emeralds and other gems, the reverse fluted, associated gold chain.
Note: Eagles have been a symbol of royal power since pre-history, in Morocco as well as in other countries. The founder of the present dynasty, Moulay Isma'il, was said to wear a royal eagle on a chain at his side as his emblem. Three other eagle pendants are published, all of which have two splayed heads but are of considerably more stylised form. One is in a private collection (Maroc, les trésors du royaume, Paris, 1999, p. 184). Another, formerly in the Benyaminoff collection and exhibited in the Israel Museum (Rachel Hasson, Later Islamic Jewellery, Jerusalem, 1987, pl.78, p.61), was sold at Sotheby's on 16 October 1997, lot 34, while a third was also at Sotheby's on 13 April 2000, lot 138. An example that is executed in a more similar style and technique to that offered here is in the Collection Thau (Marie-Rose Rabaté and André Goldenberg, Bijoux du Maroc, Aix-en-Provence, 1999, pp.70-71).
Christie's. Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets, 26 April 2018, London