Lot 224
  • 224

An eagle-shaped gem-set pendant, India, Deccan, 18th century, with later pearl chain

Estimate
15,000 - 20,000 GBP
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • pearls, gold, gemstones, including rubies
in the form of an eagle with outstretched wings and tail feathers, the gold body set with rubies and emeralds, featuring a lasque-cut diamond medallion on the breast, the ruby beak, wings and tail feathers with attached drop-pendant pearls and rubies, the reverse incised with plumage details, loops attaching later pearl suspension chain

Provenance

Purchased in India in the eighteenth century by the owner's ancestor who returned to the UK in the 1770s 

Catalogue Note

Pendants shaped in the form of eagles with outstretched wings appear throughout Spain, North Africa and India. It was customary within Deccani noble circles to wear one or more pendant necklaces with pearl chains (See Zebrowski 1983, p.248 no.XXIV). Miniature paintings of the period depict similar necklaces, mainly with floral pendants, denoting the present example as a true rarity and most likely commissioned for an important patron.

A gem-set eagle pendant of similar design and size, dated to the eighteenth century is in the al-Sabah collection, Kuwait (see Keene 2001, no.8.38). 
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