A Fine Mughal gem-set jade archer's ring North India, 17th Century

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Lot 171
A Fine Mughal gem-set jade archer's ring
North India, 17th Century

Sold for £ 35,062 (US$ 42,887) inc. premium
A Fine Mughal gem-set jade archer's ring
North India, 17th Century
of typical form, decorated in ruby, emerald and glass inlay in a gold kundan setting with a lotus blossom to the centre issuing an undulating vine with flowerheads, foliate motifs and trefoils, the lotus flanked by confronted perching birds, a gold band to lower and upper edges
4.9 cm. long

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private French collection.

    Thumb rings of this shape were worn by archers to improve accuracy without injury to the hand and were likely to have been introduced to the Islamic world by the Mongols. Mughal miniature paintings indicate that archer's rings were key status symbols worn by the court elite; a significant example made of white nephrite is in the V&A and bears the Persian inscription "Second Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction", the epithet of Shah Jahan, alongside the date 1042 AH/ 1632/33. Paintings often show two or three rings hung from the belt, indicating an individual of high status and it is likely that those with gems in Kundan setting, such as the present lot, were ceremonial rather than functional objects.

    Whilst a design of floral interlace with kundan set gems is not uncommon on archer's rings, it is rare to see confronted birds. A jade pendant with a similar design of confronted birds flanking a central flowerhead amongst floral interlace is published in Susan Stronge, Nima Smith & J.C. Harle, A Golden Treasury: Jewellery from the Indian Subcontinent, 1995, p.68, no. 62.
Contacts
A Fine Mughal gem-set jade archer's ring North India, 17th Century
A Fine Mughal gem-set jade archer's ring North India, 17th Century
A Fine Mughal gem-set jade archer's ring North India, 17th Century
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