A rare Mughal mother of pearl ewer once owned by Lord Curzon, Viceroy to India and dating from the 17th century, sold for £70,850 at Lyon & Turnbull
on the 23rd October 2013.
The ewer has been in the family since Lord Curzon of Kedelston was Viceroy of India 18991905; it was left to his daughter Lady Cynthia Curzon who married Sir Oswald Mosley, then to her grandson Rupert Forbes Adam.
Gujarat is situated on the Northwest coast of India and was a prosperous and wealthy region that rose to prominence under the influence of the Mughal Empire. Its ports were busy centres of export, and during the 17th century the Portuguese, Dutch, French and English all established bases in the region to capitalise on the lucrative trade in luxury goods.
Mother-of-pearl wares from Gujarat were being exported to Europe in the early part of the 16th century through the 17th century and were frequently given European made mounts. Based on a European metalware shapes, examples of these highly desirable wares like the present lot can be found in the inventories of royal collections of that period: one is recorded being given to Henry VIII by Oliver Cromwell in 1534 as a New Year's gift.