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20 mars 2020

An Ottoman jade and jewel-set belt buckle, Turkey, 17th century

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Lot 134. An Ottoman jade and jewel-set belt buckle, Turkey, 17th century; 11 by 25cmEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's.

slightly curved, with a central aperture and hidden sliding hinge, four thin stays on underside to fasten belt, the front worked in repoussé with foliate scrolls, set with encrusted jade plaques inlaid with gold and colourful stones, bordered by further stones set into shallow bud-shaped settings.

Note: This magnificent belt buckle belongs to a very small group of Ottoman buckles decorated in such an extravagant manner which are known to exist. One is in the Topkapi Palace Museum and another in the Benaki Museum (Ballian 1992, p.96-97, no.53). A further similar example, dated to the sixteenth century, now in the Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt, inv. no.14320, displays a similar pattern of arrangement, with inset jade plaques and colourful gemstones on a repoussé ground. 

The colourful stones bordering each plaque of the buckle were each set into bud-shaped clasps using a technique known as mihlama (R. Hasson, Later Islamic Jewellery, L.A. Mayer Memorial Institute for Islamic Art, Jerusalem, 1987, p.11, no.3). The Ottoman tradition of setting jade and gemstones into metal objects intended for everyday use to embellish them can be seen on a number of different objects including small boxes, book covers, mirrors and weapons.

Sotheby's. ARTS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD AND INDIA INCLUDING FINE RUGS AND CARPETS, 01 Apr 2020

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