A fine Mughal gold and jade inlaid jade tulwar hilt and sword belt fittings North India, 17th Century(4)

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Lot 142
A fine Mughal gold and jade inlaid jade tulwar hilt and sword belt fittings
North India, 17th Century
(4)

Sold for £ 125,062 (US$ 148,555) inc. premium
A fine Mughal gold and jade inlaid jade tulwar hilt and sword belt fittings
North India, 17th Century
the circular pommel with domed section and knop finial, the quillons waisted, the entire surface inlaid in gold and carved jade elements in the form of bunches of grapes and leaves forming an interlace of vines, the two belt fittings of floral form decorated en suite, one with two inlaid rubies
the hilt 17.5 cm. long; the sword fittings 4 cm. diam.(4)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Scottish private collection. Acquired in India by one of the current owner's ancestors employed by the East India Company and British Army in India between 1775 and 1880.

    The present lot is an exceptional example of craftsmanship produced at the peak of artistic production in the Mughal empire. Dagger hilts of this type, finely inlaid with different shades of jade are rare, but sword hilts are rarer still. Mughal princes, nobles and high officials were honoured regularly by the Emperor with gifts of daggers, knives and swords, which were worn as symbols of the bearer's status. This hilt, and matching belt fittings, would have formed part of an impressive sword, indicating the high rank and esteem of its original owner. It was most likely acquired, along with the subsequent three lots, by one of two of the current owner's ancestors. The first possibility was in India between 1775 and 1810 working for the East India Company and was primarily based in Bengal. The second, his son, was in India between 1810 and 1830 serving in the army and gained distinction for his action at the capture of Fort Talnier.

    For a jambiyya with a jade hilt inlaid with similar bunches of grapes and foliate motifs dated to the second half of the 17th Century see Howard Ricketts, Splendeur des Armes Orientales, Paris, 1988, p. 99. no. 161. Other jambiyyas dated to the 17th Century can be seen in Robert Hales, Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour, 2013, p. 26, no. 66 and in the Wallace Collection, London (Inv. No. 1384).
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A fine Mughal gold and jade inlaid jade tulwar hilt and sword belt fittings North India, 17th Century(4)
A fine Mughal gold and jade inlaid jade tulwar hilt and sword belt fittings North India, 17th Century(4)
A fine Mughal gold and jade inlaid jade tulwar hilt and sword belt fittings North India, 17th Century(4)
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