Lot 237.A gem set rock-crystal flask, North India or Deccan, 1740-1780; 7 5/8 ins. (19.2 cm.) high; 4 3/8 ins. (11.3 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 300,000 - USD 500,000. Price realised USD 387,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.
Body carved out of a single piece of rock crystal set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds in gold and silver, gold support ring on foot, lid similarly decorated.
Exhibited: Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2015, pp.80-81, no.35
The Miho Museum, Koka 2016, p.91, no.61
Grand Palais, Paris 2017, p.141, no.107
The Doge’s Palace, Venice 2017, p.167, no.111
The Palace Museum, Beijing 2018, pp.192-93, no.115
de Young Legion of Honor, San Francisco 2018, p. 77, no. 23.
Note: The bottle with its inlaid single gold wire decoration alternating elegant floral sprays with a lozenge issuing swaying and curving floral sprigs recalls the decoration seen on the small drop-shaped scent bottle (Lot 236). In contrast to that example, this larger rock crystal bottle (surahi) is made from one block of rock crystal, a remarkable technical feat (London, 2015). Very probably intended as a wine bottle, its form can be paralleled to that of a magnificent gem set jade bottle which belonged to Lord Clive, sold at Christie’s, London, 27 April 2004, lot 156. There are numerous examples of this form in metal including a gem set gold example that formed part of Nadir Shah’s booty taken in Delhi after his victory at Karnal in 1739, entirely set with emeralds with thin band of rubies now kept at the Hermitage, St Petersburg (inv.no.V3-702).