Lot 93. An enamelled gold mounted Sulemani agate amuletic armband; 1 ½ in. (3.9cm.) high; 2 5/8in. (6.9cm.) across. Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 30,000 (USD 25,700 - USD 38,550). © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.
The reverse enamelled with a falcon attacking a bird on blue ground.
Literature: Jaffer 2013, p.196, no.78.
Note: Amin Jaffer compares the setting of this amulet to that of the original Koh-i-Noor diamond, made in Lahore in around 1818 (Jaffer, 2013, p.196, no78). Another similarly mounted agate is in the Al-Sabah Collection (inv.no.LNS753J). However, there is compelling evidence which suggests that our agate amulet itself is from considerably earlier. A very similar stone, that had been drilled for suspension, was said to be from the Indus valley civilisations (Hoare, 2017, no.244). Similar stones have been associated with the Bactrian, Urartian and Sumerian kingdoms; unfortunately few have documented archaeological contexts. The use of these stones through the eastern classical world is without doubt, and it seems very probable that our amulet represents the re-mounting of a far older agate with talismanic properties.
Christie's. Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets, London, 24 October 2019