Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

As well as an English lock with gold-inlaid decoration signed JJ Wilkenson, it features an octagonal barrel with gold damascened rococo designs and a series of spectacular enamelled gold mounts. On the left-hand side of the barrel in cursive script reads Sarkar Mir ‘Ali Murad Khan Talpur, help O ‘Ali!

The Talpurs were known as connoisseurs of fine weapons. The inscription reveals this gun was made for one of the ruling amirs of Khairpur province, in Upper Sind. Mir ‘Ali Murad Khan Talpur (b.1815) became closely linked to the British and was allowed to retain Khairpur after the annexation of Sind in 1843. The identification of the inscription Kandawala on the butt plate is not clear, but it may be the name of an official or a treasurer.

Estimated at £100,000-150,000, this is one of a small number of very finely decorated guns made for a few members of the Talpur family. Further known examples include one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, two in the Khalili collection and two in the al-Thani Collection, Qatar.

Striking jug


Iznik jug, estimated at £120,000-180,000 at Christie’s.

This rare and visually striking jug, c.1570, has the coloured ground that featured on only a few Iznik wares from the 1550s. At this time potters in Iznik employed a variety of coloured slips as ground colours. The technique was used to create a red and this lavender although neither was widely used.

The 9in (23cm) jug, last sold at Sotheby’s in 1991, has a number of collection stickers on the base including one reading Lent by Kelekian No.129 – a reference to the collection formed by the influential New York and Paris dealer Dikran Garabed Kelekian (1868-1951).

The estimate at Christie’s is £120,000- 180,000.


*Denotes a participant in Asian Art in London