5745

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Parcel-Gilt, Engraved Silver Octagonal Amulet Case Bazuband

Northern India or Persia (Iran)
19th century

diameter of box: 4.7cm, thickness: 1cm, overall weight: 37g

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Provenance

UK art market

This silver case (bazuband) has eight sides and was designed as a talismanic or protective device to be worn on the upper arm, often by a soldier. It would have contained a miniature Koran or selected Koranic text.

The slightly-domed, hinged cover is decorated with eight gilded cartouches each engraved in Farsi Arabic with one of the 99 names of God.

The base is engraved with a solar emblem, an emblem that was used in some parts of northern India as well as Persia.

Two elaborate flanges on either side are fitted with red cords that have been bound in parts with gold thread and which terminate in elaborate knots. These cords allow the box to be tied to the upper arm.

The amulet case is particularly decorative with its pleasing blend of silver and gold. It is in fine condition. It is also unusual that what are likely to be the original arm cords are still in place.

References

Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.

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