Bowls and saucers for the ‘Shadow of the King’

Chinese export bowls and saucers – £19,000 at Chiswick Auctions.

This group of late-19th century Chinese export bowls and saucers was made for the Middle Eastern market – specifically for the Qajar prince Mas’ud Mirza Zill al-Sultan (1850-1918).

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Roland Arkell

Two of the bowls are dated 1297AH for 1879-80. The largest at 15in (37cm) across is dated 1301 AH (1883-4).

Alongside typical famille rose decoration is the unusual grey-mauve ground and a gilt inscription in Persian that identifies them as part of the large service commissioned by the prince, the eldest son of the ruling Shah Naser al-Din Shah (1831-96).

As his mother was a commoner Mas’ud Mirza was excluded from the Qajar throne and instead operated as governor of Isfahan from 1866-99. His title Zill al-Sultan means the ‘Shadow of the King’.

Several porcelain sets and vessels from his service have appeared on the London auction market in recent years.

This group was sold by Chiswick Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) as part of a sale of Islamic art in west London on October 25. Estimated at £6000-8000, they took £19,000.