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Bowl

Bowl

  • Place of origin:

    London (mounted)
    India (possibly, made)
    Pakistan (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1867 (mounted)
    ca. 1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Phillips, Robert, born 1810 - died 1881 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rock crystal, mounted in enamelled gold set with diamonds, lapis lazuli, agates and rubies

  • Museum number:

    IM.328-1920

  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case 10

This rock crystal bowl was probably made at the court of Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658), as the restrained decoration on the base and handles is in keeping with the floral style that characterised the arts of his reign. Its history between then and 1867 is unknown, but the engraved inscription on the bottom of the jewelled gold mounts added to the foot show that by then it had come to England. The inscription reads: "Robert Phillips fecit London 1867" (made by Robert Phillips London 1867). He was a jeweller with premises in Cockspur Street, and exhibited the bowl at the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle where it won a gold medal. At some point, it was acquired by Colonel Charles Seton Guthrie (1808-1874) and added to his remarkable collection of Mughal hardstones. Some of his pieces were bought by the Indian Museum in London in 1868, but the rest of the collection was sold at auction in 1875, the year after his death. This bowl was probably lot 202 in the Christie's sale. It was bought by Mr Alfred Simson who lent it as part of his small collection of Mughal crystal to the museum in 1913 and 1919. His son, Captain Rupert Simson, sold it to the museum in 1920 in accordance with his father's wishes which stated that the price should be what he had originally paid for them.
The jewelled mount is enamelled and set with minute diamonds, agates, rubies and lapis lazuli and is one of two examples in the V&A of Mughal rock crystal bowls with a mount added to the footring by Phillips.

Physical description

The circular bowl with slightly flaring rim rests on a low splayed ring foot in the shape of a flower, and has two handles in the form of buds on tendrils. The rock crystal is exceptionally clear. The enamelled gold mount forming a new footring was added by Robert Phillips in London in 1867 and is set with diamonds, lapis lazuli, agates and rubies.

Place of Origin

London (mounted)
India (possibly, made)
Pakistan (possibly, made)

Date

1867 (mounted)
ca. 1650 (made)

Artist/maker

Phillips, Robert, born 1810 - died 1881 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Rock crystal, mounted in enamelled gold set with diamonds, lapis lazuli, agates and rubies

Marks and inscriptions

'Robert Phillips fecit London 1867'
Made by Robert Phillips London 1867

Dimensions

Height: 7.9 cm, Diameter: 11.3 cm

Object history note

The bowl was probably made at the court of Shah Jahan, but its history prior to 1867 is unknown. In 1867 it was exhibited by Robert Phillips of Cockspur Street, London, at the Paris Exposition Universelle, where it won a gold medal, and was later bought by Colonel Charles Seton Guthrie. His collection was sold at auction in 1875, the year after his death, and the bowl was probably lot 202 in the sale. The V&A bought it in 1920 from a Captain Simson.

Descriptive line

Bowl, rock crystal, Mughal, 17th century with English gold enamelled and jewelled mount

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Susan Stronge, "Colonel Guthrie's Collection", Oriental Art Winter 1993/94, vol. xxxix No. 4, pp.4-13 (illus. fig. 12)

Materials

Rock crystal; Gold; Agate; Ruby; Lapis lazuli

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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