Imagine: A 1,000-year-old carved rock
crystal ewer, one of only seven known surviving examples, will
be offered Christie’s Islamic art
sale next month. It’s expected to bring over $5 million (U.S.)
Made for the court of the
Fatimid rulers of Cairo in the late 10th or early 11th century, carved out of a single piece of hollowed-out rock crystal and later embellished in enameled gold mounts (1854)
by a French silversmith.
The last time this ewer was bid on, it reached more than 1000 times its presale estimate. Well, the estimate is set pretty high this time, due to the more accurate description, I’m sure. This is truly a historic treasure.
The craftsmanship and the detail are overwhelming, especially considering it was carved and polished entirely by hand a thousand years ago. Whew! I’m going to watch—with great interest—for the outcome of this auction.