An impressive diamond and ruby-set gold Coffee Cup Holder (zarf) made for the Ottoman court

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Lot 22*
An impressive diamond and ruby-set gold Coffee Cup Holder (zarf) made for the Ottoman court

Sold for £ 23,900 (US$ 29,878) inc. premium

Antiquities

14 Jul 2004, 18:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

An impressive diamond and ruby-set gold Coffee Cup Holder (zarf) made for the Ottoman court
probably Turkey, 19th Century
Of rounded form of a splayed foot, the openwork gold vessel with foliate scroll design, set with mixed-cut rubies set plique-a-jour, further mounted with rose-cut diamonds, with further silver-mounted diamond floral sprays, 2 1/8in. (5.1cm.) high, 2¼in. (5.5cm.) diam.

Footnotes

  • Published:
    Sotheby's 1980, lot 567
    Sotheby's 1999, lot 150

    Literature:
    This impressive zarf belongs to a small corpus of bejewelled gold objects made for the Ottoman court of the 19th Century. The majority of these are preserved in the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul. They include a gold incense burner inscribed with the name of Hatice Sultan, daughter to Mustafa III (1757-74), and a diamond-set gold and enamel rose-water bottle alluding to the consort of Mahmud II (1808-39) (cf. Rogers 1987, figs.104 & 105). As well as these, a number of items made for Sultan Hamid II (1876-1909) survive, including a gold cigarette case set with rose-cut diamonds and bearing the Sultan's name, which was sold as part of the Sultan's jewellery in Paris on 27th November 1911 (Christie's 1997a, lot 402). Comparison can be drawn with a set of zarfs, although on a more modest scale than the present lot, also in the Topkapi Palace Museum (Rogers 1987, fig.106).

    This cup is remarkable for its method of manufacture. The rubies have been cut to fit, which would have resulted in considerable wastage of the stones, and also meant that the piece took several months to produce. This implies that cost was not an issue to the wealthy patron who commissioned the piece. The style of this cup, allied to the absence of any hallmarks, almost certainly confirms Turkey as the place of manufacture. In the workshops of the Ottoman court in Istanbul, European craftsmen worked alongside their Ottoman counterparts, which would explain the stylistic elements of this piece.
An impressive diamond and ruby-set gold Coffee Cup Holder (zarf) made for the Ottoman court
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