Fri, 29th Oct 2021 13:00

Islamic & Indian Art

  Lot 315

Possibly Granada, Nasrid Spain, 15th century

Possibly Granada, Nasrid Spain, 15th century

Of typical narrow rectangular shape, resting on four compressed rounded wooden feet, with a hinged lid, the exterior clad in fine marquetry work arranged in symmetrical order in the typical style of Islamic Spain with taracea granadina, comprising tesserae of bone, ivory, stained ivory, and coloured wood inlaid in a geometric eight-pointed star pattern framed within narrow two-tone fretwork bands, the interior plain except for a geometric eight-pointed star inlaid on the back of the lid, the steel lock plate and the brass hinges later replacements, 8.5cm x 40cm x 27cm.

The Spanish word taracea (marquetry), deriving from the Arabic word tarsi (to insert, inlay), describes a technique that consists of inlaying pieces of wood, bone or mother-of-pearl into a piece of hardwood, such as walnut. Material evidence confirms that this technique of Eastern origin was widely in use in Islamic Cordoba since at least the 10th century. But it wasn't until the Nasrid period (1232 - 1492) that it reached its full potential. Indeed, under the Nasrids, the technique was simplified and the elaborate geometrically-cut inlays were stuck onto a base of paper or parchment first, and subsequently stuck onto the main piece of furniture (Margarita Sánchez Llorente "Writing desk" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;ISL;es;Mus01;25;en, last accessed 30/09/2021).

The basic motif usually encountered on pieces of furniture produced in Nasrid Granada is the eight-pointed star (taracea granadina), which entered the architectural repertoire of Nasrid buildings, like the Mezquita and Madina Azahara, from pre-Islamic mosaics (Maria Paz Aguilo Alonso, El Mueble en Espana: Siglos XVI - XVII, 1993, p. 164). In the mudejar furniture productions of the 16th and 17th centuries, the designs tend to abandon the crisp geometric quality of 15th-century examples in favour of more elaborate, intricate and multi-layered patterns. For comparable Nasrid chests and pieces of furniture, please see Christie's London, 17 April 2007, lot 62; and in the National Archaeological Museum, Madrid (Leopoldo Torres Balbas, Ars Hispaniae, Arte Almohade, Arte Nazari, Arte Mudejar, Madrid, 1949, fig. 243, p. 222) and Museum acc. no. 1972/105/3.

This item may require Export or CITES licences in order to leave the UK or the European Union. It is the buyer's responsibility to ensure that lots have the relevant licences before shipping.

(Qty: 1)

8.5cm x 40cm x 27cm

£3,500 - £4,500

Buyer's premium: 25.00% plus VAT

Place Bid
Pre-register for live bidding


Viewings at our Chiswick Saleroom
Fri 22 Oct, 10am to 5pm
Sat 23 Oct, 11am to 5pm
Mon 25 Oct, 10am to 5pm
Tue 26 Oct, 10am to 5pm
Wed 27 Oct, 10am to 5pm
Thurs 28 Oct, 10am to 5pm

Request a condition report


Bidding at auction has never been easier or more accessible. Whether you are first time buyer or seasoned collector, our friendly team is here to help with any questions you have. Here is a simple step-by-step guide outlining the different ways you can at bid at auction.

Bid Online with Chiswick Live

Chiswick Live is our online bidding platform which combines market-leading technology with the excitement of a live auction allowing you to bid from anywhere in the world. Simply create a Chiswick Live account, or login prior to the auction, then select the ‘place bid’ function on your desired lot. Bids can be placed in advance of the sale and in real-time during the auction. 

Bid in Person

We can currently offer room bidding for a limited number of clients adhering to social distancing. You will be required to wear a face covering in our Saleroom. Please contact us to book your space on the relevant sale day. 

Telephone Bid

Please email regarding the auction and lots you are interested in. The Bids Department will then register your bids or answer any questions you may have. All telephone bid requests should be organised at least 12 hours before the start time of any auction. On the day of the auction, we will telephone you approximately five lots before your lot is announced. Our representative will relay the bidding activity in the room and place bids as you wish.

Absentee Bid

Please email regarding the auction and lots you are interested in at least 12 hours before the auction. From there, we will bid on your behalf at the lowest possible price up to your set limit.

Before the Sale

Register to Bid

If you are interested in bidding by telephone bid or absentee bid, you will need to register by completing a Registration Form and emailing it to our Bids Department at You will be required to send two forms of photo I.D. and proof of address within the last 3 months.

New clients are asked to register at least 24 hours in advance of a sale.

After the Sale


If you are the successful bidder you will be emailed an invoice setting out hammer price plus Buyer’s Premium and all other applicable charges.

All purchased Lots must be paid for on the day of the auction. Successful Absentee Bids may be paid for the day after the auction.

Payment is accepted by debit card, credit card (Visa or MasterCard only), bank transfer or cash (subject to conditions). We do not accept cheques. Payment can be made on our website by clicking here. At this current time we cannot offer payment in person. 

Once all amounts owed are received by Chiswick Auctions in cleared funds, title will pass to the buyer.


Buyer's Premium 

A Buyer’s Premium of 25% on the hammer price plus VAT on that commission is charged on the first £500,000 and 12% plus VAT on the balance thereafter.

A Buyer’s Premium of 21% plus VAT is charged on Wine & Spirits Lots.

The standard rate of VAT is charged on the premium.

Online Bidding Surcharges 

From Thursday 13 May 2021, we will charge a 1% Online Bidding Surcharge for Lot(s) purchased on Chiswick Live in addition to Buyer’s Premium and standard VAT charges. Chiswick Live continues to be the most affordable online bidding platform.

Customers bidding through the third-party auction platform are liable for a 4.95% surcharge on the hammer price, plus VAT. This is in addition to the Buyer’s Premium.

Customers bidding through the third-party auction platforms or are liable for a 5% surcharge on the hammer price, plus VAT. This is in addition to the Buyer’s Premium.

Artist’s Resale Right (Droit de Suite)

Droit de Suite is a royalty payable to a qualifying artist or their estate every time the artist’s work is sold at auction or by an art market professional during the artist’s lifetime and for a period of up to 70 years following the artist’s death.

Royalties are calculated on a cumulative sliding percentage scale based on the hammer price excluding Buyer’s Premium and are outlined in our Terms & Conditions.


We continue to offer a Click and Collect service for all purchased lots. The process is quick and easy and can be done personally or via your chosen courier. The service will be contactless, adhering to strict social distancing at our Chiswick Saleroom. To book a click and collect appointment or to provide authorisation for your chosen courier/representative to collect your goods, please email quoting your invoice number. Our Collections Team will provide you with a designated collection slot and the required paperwork. 


We work in partnership with the following companies for domestic and international shipping and domestic clearances.

To obtain a Shipping quote, please contact:

Just Get Me Shipping |

For larger collections including furniture:

GA Removals – E:| T: 07715 241444

Our recommended house clearance company:

Manor Clearance | | T: 0208 877 3993




CA Ltd offers a discretionary 14 days free storage on purchased and unsold Lots from the date of the sale. Thereafter Lots not collected shall incur storage charges of:


  • £5.00 per lot, per day or part thereof for smalls and pictures (defined as anything that can be handled by one person)

  • £10.00 per lot, per day for furniture and other larger lots.

CA Ltd shall be entitled to retain said Lots until all sums due have been paid to CA Ltd. If any lot remains uncollected 21 days after the sale, storage charges shall thereafter be £10/£20 (smalls/larger items) per day and CA Ltd shall, in accordance with the Law, have the right to sell the purchased Lot to recover payment of storage charges outstanding. Any balance proceeds of sale received after payment of all sums outstanding and due to CA Ltd shall be held for the account of the Buyer.

Do you have an item similar to the item above? If so please click the link below to submit a free online valuation request through our website.

Online Valuation Form


Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.