A Moghul ivory powder flask

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 350Y
A Mughal ivory Powder Flask
India, 17th Century

Sold for £ 26,400 (US$ 32,773) inc. premium
A Mughal ivory Powder Flask
India, 17th Century
in the form of a fishlike composite animal, carved in low relief to depict a lioness attacking an antelope in a field of flowers, one end of the lid with head, eyes, ears and front legs of two antelopes joined to look like one head, the central band with crenellated edge, the other end with an antelope with an elephant head above and a lioness below, the lower side of each central section depicting the foreparts of a lioness
21.1 cm. long

Footnotes

  • Powderhorns of this type were made to hold the fire powder used to prime the flashpan and touchhole of a musket. Once ignited, the powder detonated the charge powder and caused the musket to fire. The charge powder was carried in a powder, whereas a small flask such as the present lot held the priming powder.

    This flask consists of an ivory container and an ivory lid. When filled with powder, the two parts were held together with pins. A metal lever is attached to the top of the primer: when pressed, this opened a hole at the end of the lid so that the priming powder could be poured into the musket. The metal ring at the centre of the lever was used to suspend the flask from a belt or sash.

    This powder flask belongs to a group of vessels of similar appearance and high quality, probably produced by a small number of workshops in 17th Century Mughal India. Like others, it depicts animal scenes appropriate for an object associated with armed combat or hunting expeditions. They represent a distinctive group of Mughal ivory carvings that favour naturalism rather than stylization, and were inspired by miniature paintings and the fantastical animals that were a popular subject in imperial Mughal workshops.

    Other examples can be seen in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Joseph M. Dye II, The Arts of India, Virginia, 2001, pp. 424-35, no. 200; the Nasser D Khalili Collection, London (David Alexander, The Arts of War: Arms and Armour of the 7th to 19th Centuries, London, 1992, no. 115); the Furusiyya Art Foundation Collection (Bashir Mohamed, The Arts of the Muslim Knight. The Furusiyya Art Foundation, Milan, 2007, pp. 286-89, nos. 279-82; the Musee Guimee, Paris (George Michel, The Majesty of Mughal Decoration. The Art and Architecture of Islamic India, London, 2007, p. 257, no. 73); and the David Collection, Copenhagen (Kjeld von Folsach, Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen, 2001, p. 258, no. 414.
A Moghul ivory powder flask
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Y CITES

Subject to CITES regulations when exporting items outside of the EU, see clause 13.