Fine examples of Mughal craftsmanship appear at auction

Mughal table cabinet – £12,000 at Chiswick Auctions.

Made in Gujarat or Sindh in the 18th century, a sandalwood table cabinet profusely inlaid with ivory flowers and tendrils throughout was a fine example of Mughal craftsmanship and led the way at a recent sale at Chiswick Auctions (25% buyer’s premium).

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | ATG Reporter

The 17in (43cm) wide cabinet with brass mounts and swing handles, similar to one which took a hammer price of £22,000 at Christie’s Arts of India sale in London in June 2018, was pitched at £12,000-15,000.

Subject to CITES, and possibly reflecting the current nervousness in the ivory market, it sold at the auction on September 26 to a London collector in the room on the lower figure.

Major draw

Mughal material was also a major draw at Woolley & Wallis (25% buyer’s premium) in Salisbury on October 2.

An ebony and ivory inlaid cabinet on stand had hinged doors revealing a divided interior with a pair of mahogany drawers.

Of mixed heritage, the 20in tall x 3ft 2in wide (51 x 97cm) cabinet was late 17th-early 18th century Gujarat or Sindh but later adapted and lacking its original interior. The 2ft 7in (79cm) tall ebonised stand was probably 18th century English.

Nevertheless, it was a quality item and very attractive with the inlay of flowering plants in alternating patterns on a plain ground characteristic of the reign of Shah Jahan. Against a £3000-5000 estimate, it sold at £8800.

Mughal cabinet on English stand – £8800 at Woolley & Wallis.

Another Mughal Indian item to double expectations was a late 17th-early 18th century rosewood and ivory inlaid casket.

With a domed lid and handle, the 4½in high x 12½in wide (11 x 33cm) item lacked the original divisions to the interior but, pitched at £800-1200, sold at £2500.