Lot 210
  • 210

An Ottoman jade and gem-set silver-gilt casket, Turkey and China, 18th/19th century

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
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Description

  • Silver, jade, semi-precious stones, possibly rubies
of octagonal form standing on eight columnar feet, each side of the exterior decorated with a jade plaque set with silver-mounted gemstones, the surrounding area similarly and densely inset with gemstones and semi-precious stones, each corner with a vertical ridge set with diagonal bands of turquoise half-beads, the Chinese jade cover with dragons flanking a shou emblem and gemstones, surmounted by a gem-set jade finial, the underside of the cover fitted with a gold coin of Abdülhamid I, dated 1187 AH/1773 AD

Catalogue Note

This impressive casket belongs to a well-known group of octagonal, jade and gem-set metal boxes produced in the Ottoman world and generally ascribed to the eighteenth/nineteenth century. Characterised by an abundant use of multi-coloured gemstones, some of which were set directly onto the metal body or onto the jade plaques which adorn it, this casket would have been considered an object of luxury rather than practicality.

The carved jade lid of this box is attributable to Qing-dynasty China, and was most probably produced with the intent of export. In this instance, the craftsman has creatively filled the recessed spaces in the carved jade lid with cabochon and flat-cut gemstones. Inlaying hardstones such as jade was practised for centuries, but became particularly popular in the Ottoman court from the end of the fifteenth century. The earliest known jades inlaid with gold are a selection of cups listed in an inventory for the Treasury of Bayezid II dated to 1505 (Rogers 1995, p.196, no.132). So popular was this technique that it can be noted on all manner of objects including vessels, jewellery and weapons. At that time, the jade-producing areas around Khotan came under control of the neighbouring Timurid dynasty which controlled its diffusion. This vessel demonstrates the continued popularity for Far Eastern jade objects retaining characteristically Chinese motifs worked into Ottoman settings.     
  
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