5049

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Rare Gold & Ruby-Inlaid Mughal Pale Green Nephrite Sword Belt Loop

North India
18th century

height: 7.7cm, width: 3.5cm, thickness: 1.6cm, weight: 42g

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Provenance

private collection, UK.

 

This rare Mughal sword loop belt is made of pale green nephrite probably sourced from the mines of northern Burma. It is possibly unique; it is the only example of which we are aware.

It is of typical sword belt loop form but has been well carved with a feline head that has eyes of rubies in gold box settings.

Mughal Indian carved jade and nephrite was imported into China in large quantities where it was favoured by the Qing court and by wealthy Chinese merchants and other government officials who collected it and gave it to one another as gifts. As a consequence a large amount of Mughal jade and nephrite is in the Imperial Collection that is now in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

The loop here would have been the perfect accompaniment to a jade hilted dagger which could have been suspended from it.

It is in fine condition without losses, chips or repairs.

References

Teng, S.P., Exquisite Beauty: Islamic Jades, National Palace Museum, 2012.

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