An ottoman silver-mounted chinese porcelain hua base, the mounts Ottoman Turkey, 19th century, the porcelain Wanli China (1573-1619 ad)

Christie's. Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds 31 March 2009 . London, King Street. www.christies.com Image 2009 Christie's Ltd

Notes: Traveling through Anatolia in 1331, Ibn Battuta (1304-1377) noted the strong taste of Ottomans for fine Chinese porcelain. Turkish Sultans collected these vessels and their collection in the Topkapi contained a number of blue-and-white porcelains that were embellished with precious mounts. For instance, a large Ming vase was mounted as a dramatic incense-burner, dated 1617, and was displayed in the mausoleum of Ahmed I (Topkapi à Versailles, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1999, p.247, fig.208). This elephant, made in China during the Wanli period (1572-1619), was re-used as a huqqa base and mounted with an elegant gilt-silver and repoussé mount that finds comparable examples in silver vessels from the periods of Sultans from Abdülmecid (1839-61) and Abdülaziz (1861-76)

The blue and white porcelain elephant of stylised form with details moulded and picked out in blue, including tail, eyes and collar, the later Ottoman parcel-gilt silver mounts including trunk with floral repoussé panel attaching it to the porcelain body and open finial for the pipe, floral repoussé saddle blanket, and saddle with openwork frame, elongated square section tower behind the elephant's head and silver knop with hinged lid and floral finial for the coal, on similar base with four paw feet, slight fading of the gilt, base now separate. 11¼in. (28.6cm.) high. Estimate £7,000 - £10,000