3630
3630
AN EMBELLISHED MUGHAL JADE-HILTED KANDSHAR AND GILT-BRONZE SCABBARD
INDIA, 18TH CENTURY
Estimation
600 000800 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT
3630
AN EMBELLISHED MUGHAL JADE-HILTED KANDSHAR AND GILT-BRONZE SCABBARD
INDIA, 18TH CENTURY
Estimation
600 000800 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

AN EMBELLISHED MUGHAL JADE-HILTED KANDSHAR AND GILT-BRONZE SCABBARD
INDIA, 18TH CENTURY
the celadon jade hilt of pistol-grip form terminating with a rounded pommel and scroll quillons, decorated with stylised flowering stems of inlaid metal set with paste and hardstones, the curved gilt-bronze scabbard cast with stylised leafy floral sprays inset with hardstones between gadrooned and floral bands, all reserved on a punched ground, the narrow sides finely incised or punched with a floral scroll, set on the two ends with jade chape and locket carved with foliate motifs, fitted wood box with the cover inscribed with the title Yue Xiangqin gong bao dao (‘Treasured dagger of Yue Xiangqin’), followed by the inscription reading Yuming rendi cang, Qixiang ti, shi wuxu dongzhi (‘In the collection of [my dear young friend] Yuming; inscribed by Qixiang on the Winter Solstice of the wuxu year’)
overall 40.5 cm, 16 in.
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Provenance

Gifted by the last Shogun Tokugawa Iesada (1824-1858) to the Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) in celebration of the Convention of Kanagawa, 1854, by repute.

Description

This Kandshar reflects the technical excellence and florid aesthetic of the Mughal empire of the 18th century that found delight with the Qianlong Emperor. The vibrant ornamentation adorning the jade hilt, known as kundan (pure gold), is unique to India. Using hyper-purified gold, the inlayer (zar-nishan) refines the soft metal into strips of malleable foil which at room temperature become adhesive. As a result, it allows the craftsman to create elaborate designs using the ductile gold without any need for glue or soldering.

A similarly decorated dagger of this form, along with its sheath, is preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Museum no. 3467(IS) to 3467A/(IS). Compare also a dagger and scabbard, the jade hilt decorated with swirling floral vine design inset with various gemstones, sold in our London rooms, 25th April 2015, lot 26; and another, sold at Christie’s London, 27th April 2004, lot 133.

Although jades embellished with colourful gemstones set in gold kundan settings were reserved for high ranking individuals in India, such exotic objects were introduced to China in the 18th century as diplomatic gifts to the Qing imperial court and subsequently replicated in the Zaobanchu (the Palace Workshops). See two Mughal-style jade daggers of similar form, attributed to the Qianlong period, from the Qing court collection and still in Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum.Treasures of Imperial Court, Hong Kong, 2004, pls 169-170.

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong