Published: Anne de Pennendreff, "Les Object les plus rapportes des croisades: Les Cristaux fatimides", Connaissance des Arts, no. 112, June 1961, pp. 104-113, illustrated p. 106.
This lot is one of the most significant rock crystal carvings to appear at auction. It is one of only six known examples carved with such birds. The group comprises: A small bottle, used as reliquary: Schloss quedlinburg. Carl Johan Lamm, Mittelaterliche Glaser und Steinschnittarbeiten aus dem Nahen Osten, Berlin, I, 1930, II, 1929. I, p. 209, No. 3, with complete bibliography, and II, pl. 75, No 3 (drawing); Dietrich Kotzsch (ed.), Der Quedlinburger Schats wieder vereinigt (exhibition catalogue, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 31.10.1992-30.5.1993), pp. 73-74, cat. no. 10, with very good illustration; Avinoan Shalem, Islam Christianized, Islamic Portable Objects in the Medieval Church Tresuries of the Latin West, Frankfurt, 1996 (Ars Faciendi, Beitrage und studien zur Kunstgeschichte, 7), pp. 216-217, No. 63, attributed to Fatimid Egypt, 11th Century; and the previous lot.
A small bottle, used as reliquary: Weissenau, Covent Chapel (apparently lost during World War II). Kust Erdmann, "The Sacred Blood" of Weissenau, "The Burlington Magazine2, XCV, 1953, pp. 299-303; Shalem (quoted in No. 1), pp. 217-218, No. 64, and p. 412 (illustration), attributed to Fatimid Egypt, 11th Century; Sophie Makariou, "Le crystal de roche dans l'Islam", Cornaline et pierres precieuses, La Mediterranee, de l'Antiquite' a L'Islam, Actes du colloque, Musee du Louvre 1995, La documentation Fracaise, Musee du Louvre, Paris, 1999, pp. 249-268, illustrated fig. 7; and Avionam Shalem, "The Rock-Crystal Lionhead in the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe", pp. 359-366, and Col. Pl. 25 (after p. 448), ill. 72, attributed to Norman Sicily, about 1200.
A small bottle, formerly Collection Chenou, Paris, 1884. Lamm (quoted in No. 1), I, p. 209, no 4, with complete bibliography, and II, pl. 75, No. 4 (drawing), then recorded as on the art market; Shalem (quoted in No. 1), p. 218, no. 65.
A Pommel: Enna, Cathedral Treasury (Sicily). Claudia Guastella, in Federico e la Sicilia, dalla terra alla corona, arti figurative e arti suntuarie, a cura di Maria Andaloro, (catalogue of an exhibition) Palermo, Real Albergo dei Poveri, 16 Dicembre 1994 - 30 Maggio 1995, Palermo, 1995, Cat. no. 31, pp. 156-159, with illustrations on p. 157 and 158, attributed to Sicily; Fabiola Ardizzone, "Sicilia. Epoca Islamica, "Enciclopedia dell'Arte Medievale, X, 1999, pp. 594-598, p. 597, attributed to Sicily.
We are indebted to Professor Ernst J. Grube for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.