12 juillet 2019

A Mughal rock-crystal flask, North India, 1650-1700


Lot 236. A Mughal rock-crystal flask, North India, 1650-1700; 3 5/8 ins. (9.2 cm.) high; 2 1/8 ins. (5.5 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 120,000 - USD 180,000Price realised USD 137,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019 

Original gold collar and stopper, the body set with rubies and emeralds in finely scalloped gold kundan.

LiteratureJaffer 2013, p.30, no.7.

ExhibitedMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2014, pp.32-33
Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2015, p.81, no.36
The Miho Museum, Koka 2016, p.93, no.63
Grand Palais, Paris 2017, p.143, no.109
The Doge’s Palace, Venice 2017, p.164, no.109
The Palace Museum, Beijing 2018, p.190, no.113
de Young Legion of Honor, San Francisco 2018, p. 78, no. 24

NoteThis bottle is made in two hemispherical parts held together by the inlaid gold wire mesh surrounding it. This technique would have allowed an easier process for the craftsmen as opposed to carving and hollowing the bottle from a single block of brittle rock crystal. Such small bottles could have been used to hold perfume but also lime, a key ingredient to betel chewing, an important element of life at the Mughal court.

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

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