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An Ottoman parcel-gilt and niello Hammam bowl, probably Bosnia, late 18th century

of deep rounded form on a flat base and with a single curved lug handle, the exterior ribbed and incised with alternating panels of stylised floral and vegetal patterns in niello, the base with a foliate motif on a silver ground, the burnished interior left plain. 14.5cm. diam. Estimate 8,000—10,000 GBP

NOTE: Objects made of precious metals were often made specifically for the Imperial court within the Ottoman Empire, and were exempted from the neccessity of hallmarking. Given the quality of the present piece we can surmise that it was most probably made for a provincial governor, or perhaps a Bosnian official residence.

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World. 01 Apr 09. London www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's