£234,000 Mughal hookah brings 20-times its estimate



2015-06-26 11:57:55

234,000 Mughal hookah brings 20-times its estimate

This gilt-decorated 18th century vase sold for well above its 8,000-12,000 value at Bonhams

A rare intact Mughal gilt-decorated glass hookah basefrom the first half of the 18th Century India created great excitement at Bonhams Islamic and Indian Sale at Bonhams, yesterday (April 15).

It sold for 234,000 against a pre-sale estimate of 8,000-12,000. Overall, Bonhams'auction sale made a final total of 1.6m.

The 19.5cm tall gilded green glass bowl has a globular body and short cylindrical neck with arib. It is decorated with a friezeof poppy plants alternating with cypress trees reserved in gilt.

The known history of this hookah bowl starts with John Clough (1904-1947), a High Court Judge inCalcutta (there is a memorial to him in St Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta) andavidcollector of Indian furniture and works of art.

It passed down through the family to the present owner who was delighted with the unexpectedly high price at Bonhams.

Bidri hookah bases of the firsthalf of the 17th Century became the models for those made in jade,enamel, metal and glass in Mughal India.

 Therare intact Mughal gilt-decorated glass hookah base,from the first half of the 18th Century, sold for 234,000

The influence was seen notonly in shape, but also indecoration, which almost invariableincorporated floral of vegetal motifs.A common design waslarge flowering plants at intervals around the surface.

One of theearliest depictions of a glass hookah base appears in a painting of ashop in a bazaar that is thought to have been produced at Bikaner circa1700.

Another item that outperformed its pre-sale estimate was an illuminated Qur'an copied by Shaykh Hamdullah(b. circa 1436-37, d. 1520), from OttomanTurkey - probably Constantinople - in the late 15th Century.

It made 110,000 against an estimate of 40,000-60,000.

The Arabic manuscript,of 372 paper pages with 13 lines per page, was written in elegantnaskhiscript in black ink,with vowel points in black and red and gold roundels betweenverses.

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