Lot 181. A bird-form gem-set pendant, India, Deccan, 19th century; 6.5 by 5cmEstimate 18,000 — 25,000 GBP. Lot sold 22,500 GBP (26,087 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.

rendered in the form of a bird with outstretched wings and tail feathers, the breast mounted with a diamond medallion, gold head and body set with cabochon gemstones, wings and tail feathers with drop-pendant pearls, suspension loop on each wing, simple gold reverse.

Note: Pendants shaped in the form of eagles with outstretched wings appear throughout Spain, North Africa and India. It was customary within Deccani noble circles to wear one or more pendant necklaces with pearl chains (See Zebrowski 1983, p.248 no.XXIV). Miniature paintings of the period depict similar necklaces, mainly with floral pendants, denoting the present example as a true rarity and most likely commissioned for an important patron.

A gem-set eagle pendant of similar design and size, dated to the eighteenth century is in the Al-Sabah collection, Kuwait (see Keene 2001, no.8.38), whilst another was sold in these rooms, 22 April 2015, lot 224. 

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets, London, 01 May 2019, 10:30 AM