25 juin 2019

A gold-mounted agate cameo of Jahangir, cameo, France or Italy 1610-1630, mount, France 1630-1640

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Lot 339. A gold-mounted agate cameo of Jahangir, cameo, France or Italy 1610-1630, mount, France 1630-1640; 2 ins. (5.1 cm.) long. Estimate USD 300,000 - USD 500,000. Price realised USD 350,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

Set in a gold pendant mount, the reverse engraved with flowers.

ExhibitedThe Miho Museum, Koka 2016, p.73, no.44
Grand Palais, Paris 2017, p.30, no.3
The Doge’s Palace, Venice 2017, p.94, no.48
The Palace Museum, Beijing 2018, p.110, no.49
de Young Legion of Honor, San Francisco 2018, p. 66, no. 14

Note: This rare, carved agate depiction of Jahangir finds comparison with a small group of Mughal cameos all bearing an image of Shah Jahan, produced by European or Indian lapidaries working at the Mughal court. These include a sardonyx cameo of Shah Jahan by a European craftsman at the Mughal court, circa 1630-40, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, inv. IS.14-1974. A sardonyx cameo with enamelled gold mount, attributed to Kan Atamm (‘the Supreme Engraver’), circa 1630-40, illustrating the famous incident of a young Shah Jahan as Prince Khurram slaying a lion, is now in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, inv. Camee.366 (Paris, 2017, p.29). An agate cameo portrait with a ruby surround is in the Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait (inv.no. LNS 43 J; Keene and Kaoukji, 2001, no.9.11, p.114). Another sardonyx cameo, quite similar to the example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, sold at Bonhams, London, 1 May 2003, lot 380. 

Amina Okada suggests that the ‘relatively dry and angular’ treatment of Jahangir’s face indicates that this is the work of a European lapidary probably working in France or Italy. It is quite likely that the cameo was carved after an engraving or portrait of the Mughal emperor (Paris, 2017, p.30).  

For a gold-mounted agate bazuband in the sale, see lot 288.

Christie's. Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence, New York, 19 June 2019

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