AN OTTOMAN JADE AND GEM-SET BOX, POSSIBLY FOR A QUR'AN, TURKEY, 17TH CENTURY
the silver gilt body engraved with foliate tendrils and set with semi-precious stones, hinged with mounted jade lid set with petalled gem-set plaques and silver-gilt scrolling tendrils, motif of lion and sun set in centre, velvet-set interior, underside engraved and punched with interlacing scrolling tendrils
4.1 by 8.5 by 8cm.
Jade pitted, some minor wear to velvet on interior, some of the stones probably later replacements, with some cracks on some, minor oxidisation, traces of silver cleaning product in interstices, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Ex-collection Ambassador and Mrs. Alexander Weddell, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.
Deaccessioned by The Virginia House Museum to benefit future preservation, acquisitions, and care of collections.
The ornate ‘Lion and Sun’ (Shir o Khorshid) is the royal symbol of the Persian Empire which could indicate that the box was sent to, or received from, Iran as a diplomatic gift. Gem-studded courtly sancak Qur’ans and cases such as this were circulated among Ottoman elites as gifts or presentation pieces. For a full discussion of a similar Ottoman jewel-studded case for a miniature Qur’an, see Sheila Blair, Islamic Calligraphy, Edinburgh University Press, 2006, pp.482-3. For a similarly decorated sancak Qur’an box see Emine Bilirgen et al, Topkapi Palace: The Imperial Treasury, Istanbul, 2001, pp.112-3.