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Pendant

  • Place of origin:

    Delhi (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rock crystal, gold, blue sapphire, diamond, emerald, natural pearl, opal, opaque pale blue glass (simulating turquoise), ruby, a catseye (possibly chrysoberyl) and an unknown, fashioned using a variety of techniques.

  • Museum number:

    IM.150-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This perfume bottle was part of a collection of Indian and Tibetan art objects that was purchased in 1910 from Mr. Imre Schwaiger, a well-known London and Delhi based dealer. The whole collection was bought for £1000, with the price of £10 being assigned to this bottle which was stated to have been made in Delhi in the 19th century. It has been carved out of a single crystal of transparent, colourless quartz (rock crystal) and then set with gold and gems. There are nine different gems on one side, and eight on the other.

Physical description

A small pendant/perfume bottle of oval cross-section, with an attached stopper. It has been fashioned in colourless rock crystal and then adorned in a tree-like arrangement with inlaid gold wire and various inset gems (nine different gems on one side and eight on the other side). The stopper is set with four different gems in gold, and is linked to the bottle by fine, gold chain and a further chain with a catch is attached for wearing as a pendant. There is a break to the neck at the opening, which extends down into the body but the pieces have not become detached.

Place of Origin

Delhi (made)

Date

19th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Rock crystal, gold, blue sapphire, diamond, emerald, natural pearl, opal, opaque pale blue glass (simulating turquoise), ruby, a catseye (possibly chrysoberyl) and an unknown, fashioned using a variety of techniques.

Dimensions

Height: 36.9 mm IM.150-1910, Width: 26.1 mm IM.150-1910, Depth: 21.7 mm IM.150-1910, Height: 27.6 mm IM.150-1910

Object history note

This perfume bottle was part of a collection of Indian and Tibetan art objects that was purchased in 1910 from Mr. Imre Schwaiger, a well-known London and Delhi based dealer. The whole collection was bought for £1000, with the price of £10 being assigned to this bottle.
Imre Leonard Schwaiger was a well-respected dealer of gems, jewellery and eastern works of art. He was of Hungarian descent and, as a young man, he travelled to India where he became an expert in appraising them, later becoming the foremost dealer and agent in such objects.
He built up a list of important clients and he was friends with Jacques Cartier, looking after Cartier’s interests in Delhi and acting as the company’s agent in the purchase of gems, jewellery and objets d'art. Schwaiger was also responsible for introducing Cartier to all of the maharajas and other royals during his visit to India for the Delhi Durbar in 1911.
Imre Schwaiger developed a close working relationship with both the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum, assisting them with a number of acquisitions. He also generously donated a number of valuable objects to both institutions.

Descriptive line

Perfume bottle with stopper, rock crystal inset with gold and gems, gold chain, Delhi India, 19th century

Materials

Quartz crystal; Blue sapphire; Diamond; Emerald; Gold; Natural pearl; Opal; Opaque blue glass; Ruby

Categories

Containers; Gemstones; Hardstone; Personal accessories

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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