Fri, 29th Oct 2021 14:00

Islamic & Indian Art

  Lot 523

Turkey, 20th century

Turkey, 20th century

Comprising an elegant ewer of typical melon fluted baluster shape, resting on a plain circular foot, rising to a tall tapering neck, with a sinuous spout and curved handle linked to the neck and belly and engraved with fleshy leaf design, the dome-shaped hinged lid with a bulbous finial surrounded by silver wirework with roses and jagged leaves, the exterior engraved with alternating bands either plain or decorated with foliage and vegetal scrolls, 36.5cm high; and a matching basin of circular shape with a gadrooned everted rim with scalloped edges, the central aperture closed by an open cup-like resting base for the ewer, the basin stamped 900 in the centre and with an assay scratch mark to the base, 37cm diam., 2175gr.

The shape and design of this matching ewer and basin set are inspired by 19th-century examples produced in the Ottoman empire, especially in Turkey and Egypt. In the Ottoman houses, silver ewers and basins were quintessential vessels in the guest welcoming etiquette: upon entering a house, members of the household and guests would use them to wash their hands and perform ablutions, one of the many essential hygiene rituals performed on a daily basis. This tradition remained embedded in the customs of those lands even after the end of the Ottoman empire, guaranteeing a constant demand for the production of silver ewers and basins like ours.

For 19th-century examples showcasing the same design, please see Christie's London, 20 April 2007, lot 17; and 11 April 2008, lot 329.

Sold for £3,500

Includes Buyer's Premium


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