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Simon Ray
Indian & Islamic Works of Art
21 King Street
St. James's, London, SW1Y 6QY

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7930 5500
Facsimile: +44 (0)20 7930 5501
Email: [email protected]



India (Mughal), 18th century

Height: 48 cm
Width: 24.5 cm
Depth: 7 cm

A rectangular white marble panel engraved and inlaid to the front with different coloured hard and semi-precious stones in the pietra dura technique. The detailed patterns within the central section are inlaid with lapis-lazuli, malachite, jasper and agate and depict a large, curving poppy spray, with finely shaded curling, serrated leaves and stylised birds at each corner. Framing this to top and bottom are continuous meanders of arabesque patterns and simple beaded inlays. Thick slate grey borders separate the differing designs. The richness of the inlays contrast with the pure white tone of the surrounding marble, giving a strong overall presence as well as great movement, created by the meanders and the twisting poppy spray. The reverse of the panel has been finely carved into an elegant serpentine shape creating a greater sense of depth and weight and adding to the exemplary finish of the panel.

For similar examples in the al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyah, Kuwait National Museum, (LNS 70 S), see Ghada Hijjawi Qaddumi, Variety in Unity, 1987, pp. 176-177 and Esin Atil, Islamic Art & Patronage, 1990, pp. 291-292, no. 103. 

all text & images © Simon Ray

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