Sotheby's Art of Imperial India auction, held on October 9 in London, has seen an exceptional diamond-set and enamelled gold pandan set sell with outstanding results.
The box and tray was originally valued at £200,000-300,000 ($320,196-480,294), but soon soared past this to achieve £662,500 ($1m). It was reputedly once owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad, ruler of a former state in India.
The piece originates from the 18th century, and would have been created not only as ornamentation, but also to impress and reinforce the power of the Nizam to visiting dignitaries.
The box is covered with bright green enamel and set with diamonds in the kundan technique, resulting in what Christie's describes as "a masterful combination of the highest order". There are plenty of similarly jewelled examples in existence, though one in this shape is a rare find.
The sale also featured a sword once owned by Tipu Sultan, also known as the Tiger of Mysore (1750-1799). It made £98,500 ($158,142) against a £80,000-120,000 ($128,440-192,660) estimate.
Tipu Sultan and his father fought four wars against the British during his lifetime, and was killed during the fourth. With the tiger adopted as the powerful sultan's emblem, the sword features a tiger-form hilt, which holds in its jaw a captured English blade to demonstrate his dominance over his enemies.
This week marks Islamic Art Week in London, which has seen a number of high-profile sales from the top auction houses. Christie's sold a rare Mughal-era carpet for $7.6m, while Bonhams' Islamic and Indian Art sale was topped by a $90,000 piece from Pakistani artist Sadequain.
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